So many great discussions in class this week. The conversation we had about gaming was just fascinating. For me, there are two key points that I will continue to mull over.
1. Motivation: Jane McGonigal is exactly right that whatever it is that motivates people to spend so much time gaming is worth exploring. What is it and how do we leverage it?
2. Experiential learning: This is where I think that gaming in an educational context can be really effective. If the game is about exposing students to a range of experiences in a “safe” environment, I believe that teachers can take that experience as the baseline for reflection and discussion. The learning happens on the reflection. The game can facilitate that.
Case and point: This American Life, episode 424, Act I: Trickle Down History
I also want to touch on something that came up in our Blogger Issues discussion: The use of blogs for self-promotion. I realize that I was the one who brought the topic up initially in our discussion, and I’ve thought a lot about it since because it was a kind of in-the-moment realization for me. Somehow, the thought of librarians using their blogs for self-promotion is a bit distasteful, or at least a little uncomfortable. And yet, a blog is inherently about a person’s thoughts and opinions and therefore inherently self-promoting. And, libraries and librarians have a bit of a marketing problem. We aren’t good at talking to the public about what we really do and why we do it. Is the discomfort because of personal marketing in general? Or is it because, for better or worse, those librarians that are best at self-promotion are the voice of libraries to the public and what they are saying is uncomfortable?