If you haven’t been over to Mark Warner’s site, you need to stop by. He teaches in the United Kingdom and has been posting stuff online since 1998. He’s got a ton of sites that he maintains as well as his Mr. Warner’s blog. I got hooked into reading his ideas while surfing for video game ideas and lesson plans.
Last year he began using the game Myst as a way to encourage writing, critical thinking, creativity and problem solving. I posted links to his detailed classroom accounts and often use his experience as an example for gaming newbies.
He recently began posting his second trip down the Myst educational road and it’s very cool to follow his adventures. If you unsure about how video games can be incorporated into literacy instruction, you need to check out the work that Mark is doing.
The research is documenting all kinds of stuff that games can do for our brains but perhaps the most important from a teacher standpoint is what it can do to classroom atmosphere:
At school, this week has been an AMAZING experience using Myst in the classroom again. The children are more engaged and excited about their lessons than ever before, and I can’t wait to get back to school next week to continue (and hopefully finish) our adventures.
Be sure to use the “Recent Posts” block in the lower right hand side of his site to get to all of his latest Myst posts. And don’t forget to read his stuff from last year.
One question I’ve had from others here in the States is the amount of time that Mark is able to spend on this unit. Some will use that as an excuse not to use games in the classroom
I’ve got state tests coming up, I don’t have time to play around.
What I like about Mark’s work is that it’s all about meeting indicators and staying focused on content, not about playing the game. Myst is the glue that holds everything together but the kids are doing pretty deep stuff all the way through.