Our state listserve has been having an ongoing discussion about the use of computer games in school.
Being the agitator that I am, I posted my lists of reason for and against games. Ending with:
THREE REASONS FOR BANNING GAMES
- Kids playing games might be using resources (computers, bandwidth, chairs, oxygen) that other kids might need to do "real" school work.
- Kids playing games find school fun and we all know life isn't about fun.
- Playing games is against school rules
My friend Tom Ross, library media specialist for Robbinsdale (MN), sent me a reply which he kindly gave permission to share here. Tom is one of those wonderful writers who grows more eloquent as he grows more passionate about his topic!
One more very valid reason for banning games...
Because we choose not to adapt, "and those who do not adapt..." Well you know the rest of the quote.
Our educational community is choosing to live lin the 19th century and cannot adapt to the world our students live in. We choose not to walk beside them, coach them and transform them into responsible users of all media. We are too busy with our own world to think about theirs. Let's face it, our educational community is uncomfortable with their world. Overhead projectors are still one of the most important purchases by media specialists, but only so because our teachers demand them. In this we fail. We fail to text, we fail to blog, we fail to WOW and many of us don't have a clue about what I just said.
Therefore, 1. We will be replaced the first chance they get, and 2. We will continue to lose the ability to influence the decision making process and ensure a safer, more sane world than we have now.
... I would put as Number 1 at the top of the "Reasons for Games," the following: 1. Influence the values of this generation for the future and 2. Remain relevant in the lives of our students. We are becoming irrelevant ar the speed of a duo quad four Pentium. Let me say that word again: irrelevant. Students are moving beyond us as if we did not exist. Our grammar, our word choice, our polite culture, how we spell our words, our attitudes, our culture, our world, our values are being left discarded like a used tissue. Complain about it as we will, it will not matter, because we will be replaced and like some forgotten massacre of the Second Boer War, No one will even know we were here. It will be the sound of a tree falling in a far off Siberian forest.
Realizing that we as educational communities cannot make this and several other adaptions, (cell phones, hand held internet access and retrieval systems, I will predict that schools as we know them will continue to shrink and be replaced by other formats of education until they are things of curiosity of the 18th-20th centuries. This is just a reality, not an emotional response. We won't be the first dinosaur that failed to make the adaptation. The question for us individually is whether or not we will allow ourselves to morph with the new world realities around us --- or simply retire?
As for myself, I am not going softly into that good night.
Plymouth Middle School
How does the now over-used quote by General Eric Shinseki go? “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.” Thanks, Tom, for the passionate reminder.