The lsa blog

Video Games for Social Change

Contributed by: Marie Alcock, PhD

When is a video game useful?  When is it a tool for education?  Or even a tool for social change?


I enjoyed a TED talk featuring Jane McGonigal and her ideas about using video games as training grounds for saving the world.  Check it out here.

Jane raised some good points about the addictive rush from being on the “verge of an epic win” and the motivation from “epic quest” that is trusted to us as players.  What would we need to upgrade about our curriculums to get this kind of “epic quest” feel for the learner?  How do we make each skill progression for reading or writing feel like the addictive leveling of the “imminent win”?

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Teaching is Changing

Contributed by Marie Alcock, PhD.

The truth is that teaching is changing in America.  As a profession we have been in a state of flux for more than 20 years.  In the big picture that is not much time and we can all agree that one day we will look back and note this period and the changes that resulted from it.  Here are our top ten things about teaching that have changed.

We made this movie as a way to note the key characteristics of this change. Teaching is Changing.

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Natural Learning Experienes

Contributed by: Craig Gastauer

This post was originally shared on Just Start for Kids & Schools and the author has given his permission to post it here.

Natural learning experiences are generated by observation and questioning.  As individuals share their different perspectives, each of us begin to make meaning of these experiences and deepen our understanding of the world.

Hiking on the cliffs above the the Pacific Ocean with my nine year old son creates for us a safe space to explore the world.  Questions abound as we come across animals, plants, rock strata, and even the wonderful variety of people we encounter. 

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Welcome To My Blog!

Contributed by: Crista Anderson

This post was originally shared on Just Start for Kids & Schools and the author has given her permission to post it here.

There is something about a face to face connection, that makes it all real. I am a gamer. I am a connector. I am an innovator. When I am these things by myself, I go nowhere. When I am these things with my students; we go somewhere.

Consider Minecraft. Did you know …

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