I am presently reading a book called What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy. Second Edition: Revised and Updated Edition
by James Paul Gee ( one of America's most respected educators ). In this work, Paul Gee argues for the importance of GOOD video games in learning. He particularly focuses on some particular video games including first-person shooter games, fantasy role-playing games, real-time strategy games, and simulation games.For Paul, playing such video games is not a waste of time as many people think, but is a practice that can improve players active and critical learning and sharpen their problem solving skills. He suggests a variety of learning principles that are built into good video games ( i.e., as Pikmin , Arcamun, Age of Empires, Star Wars, Galactic Battleground..etc) and because he states each principle in a way that is intended to be equally relevant to learning in video games and learning in content areas in classroom, I think it is is important that you know about these principles to help you better understand your students learning.
( Pages 41,64,68 )
1- Active, Critical Learning Principle
All aspects of the learning environment are set up to encourage active and critical, not passive learning.
2- Design Principle
Learning about and coming to appreciate design and design principles is core to the learning experience
3- Semiotic Principle
Learning about and coming to appreciate interrelations within and across multiple sign systems ( images, words, actions, symbols, artifacts, etc.) as a complex system is core to the learning experience.
4- Semiotic Domains Principle
Learning involves mastering, at some level, semiotic domains, and being able to participate, at some level, in the affinity group or groups connected to them.
5- Metalevel Thinking about Semiotic Domains Principle
Learning involves active and critical thinking about the relationships of the semiotic domain being learned to other semiotic domains.
6- Psychosocial Moratorium Principle
Learners can take risk in a a space where real world consequences are lowered.
7- Committed Learning Principle
Learners participate is an extended engagement ( lots of efforts and practice ) as an extension of their real-world identities in relation to a virtual identity to which they feel some commitment and a virtual world that they find compelling.
Learning involves taking on and playing with identities in such a way that the learner has real choices ( in developing the virtual identity ) and ample opportunity to meditate on the relationship between new identities and old ones.There is a tripartite play of identities as learners relate, and reflection their multiple real-world identities, a virtual identity, and a projective identity.
9- Self-Knowledge Principle
The virtual world is constructed in such a way that learners learn not only about the domain but about themselves and their current and potential capacities.
10- Amplification of input Principle
For a little input , learners get a lot of output.
11- Achievement Principle
for learners of all levels of skills there are intrinsic rewards from the beginning , customized to each learner's level, effort and growing mastery and signalling the learner's ongoing achievements.
12- Practice Principle
Learners get lots and lots of practice in a context where the practice is not boring(i.e., in a virtual world that is compelling to learners on their own terms and where the learners experience ongoing success ). They spend lots of time on task.