Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Gaming in the Library

New York timesrecently published an article about how some libraries are including video games in the library contending that this will/ can encourage kids to pick up a book and read.
Furthermore the article states:
"Spurred by arguments that video games also may teach a kind of digital literacy that is becoming as important as proficiency in print, libraries are hosting gaming tournaments, while schools are exploring how to incorporate video games in the classroom. In New York, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is supporting efforts to create a proposed public school that will use principles of game design like instant feedback and graphic imagery to promote learning."
Howvever there are a few that contend that kids will rely on the visual literacy skills rather than the written words to get through the games. History has shown my husband and I, though, that our son was spurred on to read beyond the basic SFA program in school through his Pokemon Game on his gameboy. He discovered that even though he could play the game without reading, he could not get through some of the puzzles required in order to get further in the game. Our son now has a love for reading, but not just from Video Games, but from the fact that his environment is satiated with readers.
As a teacher however, I question whether just using video games as a source for literacy is valid. We need to teach kids to use all literacy skills evenly, as our brain begins to adapt to the new pace of technology and information. Thus not just learning to read a book, but also learning to read the pictures and sounds and moving image. These are all critical, equally. So don't throw the books out of the library yet, we will soon find that what is most important is not keeping the video games out of the library, but how to synthesize, analyze, interpret and use all of the information we have. Kids will soon find out that some information is not on a video game, but in a book and will want to have the skills.

No comments:

Post a Comment