So, I am meeting my students Nov4 for the twitter scavenger hunt, then hopefully playing the hacked version of #tvsz Nov 14-16 with students from Pete, Andrea, Janine and Lizzie’s classes. We had a quick hangout yday (Andrea, Christina and I) about how to explain the game to students in ways that would motivate them. Christina’s helped run the game before but not used it with her students. Andrea and I are totally new to playing it with students. Pete and Janine have done it with students before. We all hope that others outside our classes will play as well. Time to start some teasers going…
We talked about pitching to students as a way to learn about Twitter, and beyond into social media and digital literacy. We talked about the fun of meeting and collaborating with people from all over the world.
For my particular case, I wanted my students to go in with a reflective stance: how can playing this game (so different from any other game I have ever played) help me think more creatively about the educational game I will design later in the semester? That’s the main purpose of the game for me. To show them you can create an educational game that does not teach “content” but actually focuses on skills and attitudes. To help them reflect on what it means to be part of a game where rules change periodically, and what kind if power dynamics are created by these community-created rule changes. To have them participate in the rule changes, in discussing them with others, to consider the ramifications of rule changes in games.
I am hoping the scavenger hunt will give them a flavor of this, as they interact with people from all over the world and figure out how to have fun and also benefit from that interaction.
The other point I am thinking about is how much choice I can give to my students… What if someone does not want to play the game? Can I give them a choice to sit back and observe instead, write 3 blogposts as an observer but not play? Christina made a good point, though, about this: you don’t learn as well from observing this game as by doing it; and you wouldn’t know the twitter skills, etc, you’ve learned unless you’re involved and doing it.
So instead, I will talk to my students about the differences between learning by reading, learning by observing, and learning by doing. Oh, that cliché “tell me and i will forget, show me and i will remember, involve me and i will understand” (or sthg like it) ? That’s probably cliché for educators but might be new to freshman students (though some of mine are juniors, i think).
I still want to give them opt-out options. But I so want them to play. I could pair some of them up, allow them to create a shared twitter account or something, but I would then have problems knowing who did what part of the game/work. I could ask them to blog separately about it , but I am not sure. Still thinking. Ideas welcome!