Why Curriculum Pathways Should Function More Like Video Games


Note: This is an excerpt of a blog post we wrote for Edutopia. For the full version, see the link below.

A Call For More Flexible Curriculum Planning

In 2013, sandbox video games (like Skyrim, Fallout 3, SimCity, Civ 5, Prototype 2, Garry’s Mod, and others) have changed gaming more than a little.

Players can now define their own terms for success, and the evolution of certain gamification elements makes this more than a fantasy in the minds of the players. There really are multiple measures of success.

In fact, there are games today that have no endgame at all. There may be a finishing sequence to the narrative — some final quest fulfilled or objective accomplished — but even then there’s oodles more gameworld to explore: character journals to read, side-quests to complete, and missions to replay so that you can refine your performance.

It’s never really over, and rather than being maddening, this is indicative of a trend seemingly encouraged by the digital universe into which we all duck our heads each day.

The same difference between a magazine and a blog rests between old video games and new video games. A blog is never finished. By definition it surveys, explores and publishes in a constant churning motion. If it doesn’t self-improve, it will age and fade away.

Even blog posts themselves can be constantly updated, endlessly fluid documents that are revised, linked to, dug up by dutiful Google bots, shared, and ultimately curated — hung in some Pinterest hall of fame. And on the surface, this constant motion is also true in learning. But if we look a bit more closely, we can see this isn’t always the case.

In planned learning experiences, there is a beginning and an end, and rather than an entirely logical reality dictated by the nature of school, it could be a problem.

Read the rest of the article on edutopia

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TeachThought is an organization dedicated to innovation in education through the growth of outstanding teachers.

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