Blog #1

Bypassing the Textbook: Video Games Transform Social Studies Curriculcum

Part I: Summary

The article titled Bypassingthe Textbook: Video Games Transform Social Studies Curriculum is about a social studies teacher by the name of Jeff Hummert who has taken it upon himself to take a gutsy step and utilize modern day technology in his classroom in an unusual way by using video games to teach lessons in his class on a regular basis. This may seem like an outrageous and pointless way of learning to many, but the article goes on to explain the way he utilizes video games in a productive way. Hummert explains how he incorporates the video games into his lessons by asking students to think critically about questions that apply to what they are learning, such as  asking the students to consider how the video games portray stereotypes, the effect of stereotypes of men, and even deeper questions about racism and other topics that can be applied to the video game. He claims that this is a very useful way of teaching children material, even in the advanced learning level of AP Human Geography. He does, however, make it clear to each of his students that just because he is utilizing the games in the classroom for textual analysis does not mean that he supports the violence portrayed in the video games. 

Part II: Q’s and A’s

Q1: What is your opinion of the issue in the article? Agree or disagree? Why?

I do agree with the information presented in this article. Though I believe it would be difficult to incorporate video games efficiently into every different subject matter, I do believe the way he incorporated it into his social studies classroom was highly productive. I believe that in today’s day and age it is necessary to utilize the technology we have in the classroom, and this approach, though very uncommon, is in fact a good way for kids to critically think about things in their daily lives such as video games.

Q2: What are possible ways to use the ideas in your own teaching or self-directed learning?

I do believe that this is a very useful concept to apply to classroom learning. I am not sure how well I could really incorporate video games to learning into my classroom if I am an English teacher (which I hope to be), but I do believe that it could be very useful in classrooms that address topics that can be observed in certain video games. I do, however, think this article is a good reminder to teachers and future teachers as well the importance of utilizing modern technology in the classroom.

Q3: How will the issue help or hinder your teaching practice? Why?

I think that reading this article will neither help nor hinder my teaching practice. If I continue to go into the field I am anticipating right now, which is English, I highly doubt I will be able to incorporate video games into my classroom. However, the article was a good reminder to me as a future teacher the importance of exploring and utilizing new technology to teach lessons.

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