Gamification and Education

I loved watching this video on how powerful learning can be when it involves game thinking. As I was watching, I kept thinking, “We are the problem. It is our ‘adult’ mindset that needs to change.” In fact, most “adults” watching this would probably cringe at the things Gabe Zichermann is proposing related to education. Then at about 14:00 he says this:

We are the generation most out of touch with our future or current children than any generation in history. We like to think that baby boomers’ parents were the most out of touch people in the world. They’re the ones who had to deal with the summer of love, sex and drugs and all that kind of stuff. We still make phone calls! We are the ones with the problem, and we are going to be the most out-of-touch generation in history.

The prescription?

Get into the game with your kids. Stop fighting the game trend. Become one with the game. Enter the game. Understand it. Understand the dynamic of how your children play the games that they play. Understand how their minds work from the context of the game outward rather than from the world outside, inward. The world that we live in right now – the world of Sunday afternoons, drinking a cup of herbal tea, reading some old book, chilling out by the window – is over. And that’s OK. There are a lot more things we can do that are fun and engaging – you get a chance to go play with your kids.

The key to changing mindsets is to stop looking at the “problem” from our own world, but rather from inside the world of the “problem” – in this case, gaming. What other areas do leaders and educators need to shift mindset?

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