Thursday, July 17, 2008

Gadgets, Games, and Gizmos for Learning

Karl Kapp's book, Gadgets, Games, and Gizmos for Learning, (right) is an effort to close the gap between "Boomers" and "Gamers" in preparation for the transfer of information and ideas from one generation to the next. Kapp is a professor of Instructional Technology at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. He presented his ideas to a group of college professors attending the 2008 Summer Academy for the Advancement of College Teaching at Bloomsburg College in Pennsylvania in July, 2008.

The group of college professors was about evenly split between Generation X and Y with about 40% boomers and a smattering of Gamers. Kapp used individual response "gadgets" to collect data from the group throughout his presentation to see what people were thinking about the future of technology in education. As can be expected, the boomers were skeptical of the amount of technology and the time students spend using it. Many felt the use of games, Instant Messaging, social networking, etc. was largely a waste of time that could be better spent in traditional "studying". Some feared the openness of Facebook and MySpace and felt students using these social networking sites were treading on dangerous ground.

People are surprised when Kapp tells them that the error rate of entries in the online encyclopedia Wikipedia is no greater than that found in Encyclopedia Britannica. They also were surprised that email is a communication mode used mainly by older people and the younger people have already moved on to other communication modes such as IM.

Kapp, and his book, do a good job of describing the next generation variously called digital natives, neo-millennials, gamers, and screenagers and the future role of virtual games, electronic gadgets, and digital gizmos in education.

Click on the heading above for more about Kapp and his book.

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