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21st Century Learning

The Institute is committed to supporting the development and improvement of the integration of 21st Century learning skills and technology in Jewish schools. We provide schools and educators with consultations, webinars, presentations and research. Our team also works at staying on top of trends and emerging research as well as develop innovative tools and resources for educators. To this end we founded and facilitate a community of practice in educational technology called YU 2.0.

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A brave new world created by a video game culture.

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The first video game, a debated claim, was a simulated tennis game created in a 1952 on an oscilloscope screen. A lot has changed since then. And while I still have fond memories of my Atari, the pong battle royals do not compare to the immersive, life-like and motion sensing experiences we have now.

Video games are reaching a broader audience these days that is unparalleled to years past. This is due to the wide range of games, consoles and activities available. The other day I started my morning with some Wii Yoga, jumped out of an airplane in Battlefield 2 later that afternoon and before I went to bed danced to my favorite tunes while the Xbox kinect followed my every move. Video games are no longer single player finger aerobics. It is truly a multi-sensory experience that engages us on a multitude of neurological, physical and emotional levels.

Should we be scared? Should we embrace it? Should we incorporate it into our classrooms?

I just finished watching the fantastic presentation (see below) given at the 2010 DICE summit, which basically describes a world where all behavior is dictated by such things as achievement points and levels earned. The achievements are of course set by advertisers, corporations and the government. A sort of doomsday big brother scenario, or, as mentioned in the presentation, possibly a way to help us become better people. The good and the bad of technology.

In the introduction, we are shown an educator who changed his grading system to mimic a gaming award system and was able to show higher levels of participation. I think that is fantastic and just shows an educator using some of the language of his students. However, how powerful is the reinforcement found in today's games? How can educators use gaming in the classroom in a meaningful way? Should they? The video below shows a scary future, but as the presenter says, it is coming and there is nothing we can do about it. Will you embrace it and try to find ways to utilize its obvious power or just ignore it?


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If you have questions about the Institute’s educational technology integration services please contact Dr. Eliezer Jones, Educational Technology Specialist, at ejones1@yu.eduThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 917-836-2257.

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