Thursday, April 2, 2009

Teaching with WoW

So, I have joked about using World of Warcraft at my job, but I was never very serious. However, I got this comment from my WoW at Work post from Lytlady:

We actually use WOW in one of our classrooms. For the students that do want to play, they are learning social skills, math, etc... These are students have disabilities that effect their daily social interactions, such as Autism. They must share a toon.. So there are two students per toon. Their time is restricted... each group is allowed to play for about 1hr a week, though they are able to earn more time if available. It is really a joy to watch a 5th grader and a 12 grader, who never normally would talk to each other, discuss how to do a quest or which items they should keep, use, vendor or AH. For the advance students who play there may be math problems that include % of stats and such. It keeps them engaged and learning. This would not be possible without the amazing teacher that is in that classroom. His success record with these students is 2nd to none. And his ability to see each of their needs and how to reach these through alternative teaching tools is..... He also is a huge advocate in self-control, which is also part of these students' learning. Yes, WOW in the classroom.
I really don't think the school district I work for would buy into it, but using WoW as a teaching tool really has a lot of potential. Just think of the reading, math, and problem solving involved in the game. You could teach social skills to children with autism. And there would be some instant motivation. I only wish more admistrators (and parents) would be open minded to something like this. Its actually a very good idea. I know a lot of students that aren't motivated to practice reading, but you have to be able to read to play WoW. My nephew actually started playing before he could read and I'm sure this was a motivation for him.

Interesting idea, I've heard of it before at the college level, but never in elementary or high school. Thanks Lytlady!


Rich (Stoneybaby) said...

Bob & Lytlady I really like where this discussion is going. I'm fascinated by the increasing overlap between our virtual and physical selves. I think you both would be interested in a blog post I stumbled across a few months back:

Keep fighting the good fight and may all your hits be crits!

Bob said...

@Rich I'll have to read that article when I get a chance. As a therapist, I'm fascinated with using WoW as an unconventional way to motivated and teach students, especially students with autism. I really think there could be some good outcomes.

Klinderas said...

From a personal perspective, WoW has me doing math and enjoying.

I am a music student.

I am enjoying doing math.

These two normally do not compute.


Bob said...

@Klinderas there's plenty of math in music, at least part of playing music uses the same side of the brain. All of the counting and figuring out notes, and stuff. Well, music is very right sided, but there is enough left sided stuff in music that its not entirely unlike math.

Wow, that's some rambling, its a good thing less people read the comments, lol.