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Online Games Are What Kind Of Learning
Why do you believe that having friends and family is important for student success?
Yes, I believe that it’s important. I actually think that it’s an important factor in whether a student is successful in school, especially when it comes to literacy. But we can’t rely just on that because there are many challenges students face, both in school and at home. One of the main challenges I’m seeing right now is how young students do with social media use. One of the main resources I’m interested in is Digital Habit, by Dan Ariely.
The one thing I’ve learned from that is:
Nobody can tell you what’s a good game. If there’s an app or a browser with an interactive feature, but nobody knows how to actually play it and you don’t know what the rules are, how do you know if it’s good or not?
So, the issue is:
We don’t have a good model of what digital learning is. There are games out there that actually exist in a new way, and that give you skills for the future, and that really teach you things that you can use in class.
Do you think there should be money put aside in school budgets for teachers and students to use online games?
I do think there should be some funding put aside for it. I do think that there are amazing resources out there, and there are apps that really can give you more fun content, because they engage you in a more interesting way.
You might be seeing teachers using them to supplement their curriculum — but I also think that teachers are really smart and really care about their students, and they are really into giving students an experience in ways that are really authentic, in ways that work for them. They have an interest in reaching kids in a really different way.
Can we talk about how internet teachers can be an “Internet Floodtakers”?
For me, what I think the most interesting aspect of the online teachers is the way they’re able to connect with teachers and students. There are a lot of teachers who are extremely concerned about reaching students in ways that they’re not reaching them in other ways.
If you’re an internet teacher, you can connect in a way that is more honest, but also that is actually more engaging because you are someone that the kids are really willing to hear from.
What do you see as the future of online education?
My biggest fear right now is that, with technology becoming increasingly ubiquitous, we’ll become a society of swiss cheese slices — that everyone has access to the same education but not from the same institution. The reason I think this is really important is because what’s important in learning is the experience itself.
If you are making that learning exciting and engaging and that’s the case, then you have a huge chance of actually having students learn.
As a mom, how does that make you feel?
I’m one of those moms who runs the house. I’m a super handy parent, and also one of those moms who really cares about the well-being of my daughter.
I do worry about the internet and about how it’s tied to everything else — the things I worry about are the safety issues: whether parents aren’t creating healthy relationship between them and their kids, whether access to media becomes a one-way street, whether there’s a bigger problem of cyberbullying. I’m not just talking about this one thing. I’m talking about the broader picture here.
Having a conversation with my daughter right now and explaining to her that there are kids she can relate to who really are. My daughter, she’s getting involved with being a blogger now, and I’m learning a lot about those topics as well. I care about social media too, for my daughter.
Does your goal for your daughter’s future career goal is to help her access the educational technology?
My daughter’s goal for her future career goal is to go to MIT and maybe start at Stanford, but then she wants to work in finance or entrepreneurship or investments. Those are all things that she’s interested in doing.
My goal is to give her the tools and access to learning technologies that will allow her to do those things. She’s still in high school.
So, if you’re a parent, have you started playing with the classroom technology already?
I think it’s getting easier to play with in high school, and when you start talking to my daughter about how the district’s using the classroom technology, I would say that there’s definitely an appetite, but they’re trying to open up that culture so that they can figure out a way to figure out how