There has been a time and a place for all of us, spread out over generations, where we have heard our parents say, “Quit playing that game and do something productive.” For me it was The Sims, and choose your own adventure type games. But now those players are now introducing the important connection of literacy and involvement.
Video games are everywhere; in our homes, on our phones, and floating across the web. Somehow I feel that is distraction or time passing activity is much more embedded in our future of education that it was ever meant to be. To be honest, before this class I never thought of this concept, or really cared for playing video games. Now, I am highly intrigued about the process. How does this change our future as educators?
I love the concept of “multimodal” use in the classroom. When implemented properly, I believe that we can reach out to a range of learners. We are familiar with the basic learning styles; visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. This multimodal platform and the use of video games can incorporate all of these styles in one arena.
Out of all the reading this week I really connected with Gee’s Semiotic Domains: Is playing Video games a “Waste of Time”? The defense for multimodal is valid; “ the images often communicate different things from the words. And the combination of the two modes communicates things that neither of the modes does separately. Thus, the idea of different sorts of multimodal literacy seems an important one” (14) It also implies the pursuit of one of the English Teachers mantras, “Better readers make better writers.”
Over Spring Break I visited my family in Southern California and did a little research. (I played video games with my six-year-old cousin, Jo.) Mind you, I have not picked up a controller for over five years. I forget the name of the game but it was a first person run around and pick up the items to get to the next level type of deal. I was astounded with the hand eye coordination, map, and reading skills were for his age. He was reading everything on the screen out loud and told me where I needed to go next on the map. After we were done, I asked Jo if he wanted to read a book to me. He replied, “I don’t like reading.” I then told him he just read to me from the video game. He replied, “Oh ya. I guess I do like reading!”
Although Jo’s mom though it was a sneaky way of teaching a six-year-old that he is a good reader, I do believe that video games should be incorporated into curriculum to portray the importance of multimodal learning.