What would need to go into an one page paper for teachers to give their administrators? We'll start discussing this at the Minecraft and More Unsymposium and crowdsource a Google Doc on it. We'd like to have it ready for the 2014 ISTE conference.
The big outcry in my division has been "it's a distraction" and "they won't use it for educational purposes" (to be fair, I did just catch one of my students who was supposed to be doing a math assignment in Minecraft spending an hour shooting cows instead. A full hour. Shooting cows. He had, like, 500 pieces of leather).
So addressing that would be valuable.
Also, kae, to email you re the questline, should we just use the gamesmooc gmail?
Don’t do work that just exists within your classroom... do work that changes the world. -Will Richardson
The big outcry in my division has been "it's a distraction" and "they won't use it for educational purposes"
There's a lot of misunderstanding that happens with people who don't play games (or don't play "mainstream" games). The views of games as "for kids" or "for fun" or "always violent" are common, and, as we know, not all that accurate. Part of the problem is that the game community isn't really all that good at sending a good message to those outside "our" community.
If you don't really play games, here's what you see:
a lot of hate and bile on game forums, to the point where it makes the nightly news when something eventually happens in real life (suicide, etc)
commercials that present games as immature and/or excessively violent (I could do a whole rant just on this, it's like those who market games are stuck on the idea that games are for 13-18 year old boys and no one else)
people who play for so long they lose their jobs/wives/kids/etc and or die from not getting up for over 12 hours, because it's makes the news
frequent links to people who do terrible things (like shoot up malls and schools)
other stuff I'm not thinking of at the moment
These are all things that will probably need to be addressed. *We* know that games are more than just mindless entertainment, but the rest of the world doesn't. The first thing to do is to somehow demonstrate to them that games can serve other purposes. It's possible that some sort of "heartwarming story" would be good here. Something about a group of kids who played games instead of robbing gas stations, or became "better" because of a game.
The educational benefits of games are not hard to find, so it shouldn't be too hard to fill up the rest of the page with specific things that games have been used to teach.