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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The "Gamer's" Learning Style

Kids who have grown up with video games, Gamers, are self-educating. They seek out and learn from the information that is available to them. They do not rely on formal educational settings for their learning. The gamers’ learning style:
  • Ignores any hint of formal instruction. They are self-directed learners.
  • Includes trial and error and approaching a problem from different angles.
  • Relies heavily on learning from peers with a distrust of information from authorities.
  • Focuses on small, focused bits of information
  • Demands just-in-time information. They don’t want to learn about what they might need.
  • Is not focused on books and reading.

So while they may look lazy and self-absorbed while sitting in front of the TV playing a video game, they are actually learning valuable skills for the information age. We should all be paying attention.


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Geetha Krishnan said...

Interesting, Karl. While most points seem mappable to characteristics we have seen over the years (learner control, learning by doing, limited attention spans, and JIT information), the most differentiating characteristic of gamers seems to be that they rely "heavily on learning from peers with a distrust of information from authorities." In other words, gamers are the bellwethers of collaborative learning. Should we call them members of the learner 2.0 community?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if this is just not true of children in general. I see the same in kids who are not gamers.

Karl Kapp said...

Geetha and Tom, thanks for the comments. Peer learning is an important characteristic and I think that many kids who have grown up with technology, even those who have not played video games have many of these traits and I think the traits are becoming even more exagerated by the higher use of technology and, of course, video game playing.