The old school artists’ commune has fallen by the wayside these days. Art is moving into a digital age, and our economy is seeing a growing deficit for skilled, work-with-your-hands kinds of jobs. But with schools finding themselves hard up for funding in art and craft apprenticeship learning, and colleges focusing on profit-driven programs, kids and creatives find themselves with diminishing resources to experiment, create and ultimately learn “maker” skills. To address this void, across the United States, a maker movement has emerged. It’s homegrown, DYI-friendly, and all about inspiring creativity across mediums and all ages.
Category: Education Archives - The Loresworn Order
There is an incredible push across the country to increase the appeal among students for STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. These are subjects that will become the backbone of the next generation of innovators across the world. STEM fields also seem to represent a growing percentage of the job opportunities in America: according to the US Department of Commerce, STEM occupations are growing at twice the rate of other occupations. Yet, while opportunities are growing and this need is rising, American students in particular seem to be falling farther and farther behind in these topics. If you ask most school children why, the answer will usually be, “I don’t get it,” or even worse, “It’s boring.”
Even though it’s fundamental to almost all the other academic skills, literacy is one of the first weak links to become apparent in our education outcomes in the Unites States. The US ranked 7th in the world in literacy as of March 2016. Unpacking that number, we find that there is a strong correlation between lack of literacy (functional or actual) and poverty. In addition, according to the Literacy Project Foundation, “To determine how many prison beds will be needed in future years, some states actually base part of their projection on how well current elementary students are performing on reading tests.”
This piece is part of a series on the intersection of gaming and education. Be sure to check out the first part, The Case for Screen Time.
The beauty of learning with games is that you learn while having fun. The challenge with making screen time double as learning time is, thus, that you can’t take the fun out of the game. This article is your crash course in turning game time into learning time. Next time, I’ll take these more general principles and begin applying them to specific games, but we’ll start with the basics.
Games have become an enormous part of the modern day for people of all ages. If you have kids, you probably ask yourself regularly how often they can or should consume this interactive media. But with new, shiny apps being developed daily, and computer, tablet, and phone screens becoming a more and more ubiquitous, how do you make those screens a positive part of their life, rather than a vortex of guilty pleasure? This was one of the big questions that I turned over and over as I attended the Denver Comic Con last weekend.