Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Games, Gratitude, & Undergrads

Receiving a "buff" out of the blue... w00t!
On February 17th, I made the trek across the river to Millersville University. Jenn Shettel had invited me to lead a Middle Level Game Literacy Workshop with some undergrad pre-service education block students. We spent two hours talking about games, gamification, game based learning, and game design. More importantly, we talked about kids. We talked about teaching and learning. We talked about what works and does not work in the classroom. I had an awesome morning working with these students, and I got some great feedback from my host. I must admit, though, you're never 100% sure how a group you've worked with feels.


Thank you notes

This weekend, I received an envelope from Millersville University. Having already been paid for the workshop, I wondered whether I had neglected to fill out a form for the tax office. It turns out, despite the opinion of many of my more jaded colleagues, the younger generation is not made up entirely of thoughtless technology zombies. The envelope contained a collection of hand written thank you notes. Here are a few that I felt exemplified the group.


Some of my favorite comments were:
Thanks for opening my eyes to the true epicness of integrating games into our lessons. (Justin)
Your presentation blew my mind. (Amy)
Seth thanked me for sharing a +10 Wisdom Skill. W00t!

Reflections

Hanging out with these pre-service teachers was amazing. They were all so enthusiastic about what they were going to be doing in the classroom, and really looking for how the resources we were discussing could be used to benefit students. There was not a pessimistic cynical soul in the room. I not only enjoyed the enthusiasm of these teachers but also the seriousness of the questions they asked. It was clear that they were thinking deeply about the discussion and soberly considering how it may or may not fit their subject, teaching style, and future students.

I can only hope and pray that the financial situation of our schools improves soon. Our students deserve an opportunity to have these amazing teachers. Thank you, Jenn, and Millersville, for the opportunity to share my morning with them.

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