“Don’t bother me mom – I’m learning”

November 14, 2006 at 2:06 pm 1 comment

Some notes from, Don’t bother me mom – I’m learning,  Prensky


Part I Games are not the enemy
Part II The rise of the digital native
Part III What’s different about today’s games
Part IV What kids are learning (on their own)
Part V How Parents, teachers and all adults can get in the game

p.10 other -ing words: Exchanging, sharing, meeting, evaluating, coordinating, programming, searching, customizing, and socializing.

p.13 Related books, articles: Gee, “What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy.”  Beck, “Got Game.” Johnson, “Everything bad is good for you.” Prensky, “Digital game-based learning”

p.61 “…how often they made a decision in their games.  Once every half-second…and kids love every minute…even when it’s frustrating = pleasurably frustrating. ” I am reminded of another book I’ve read (need to look for it) that describes frustration as an integral part of learning. Yet there is a balance between too much and too little.  Thank you pet brain: Emotional Design, Norman, p.187 , “if a student is frustrated, should we try to remove the frustration, or is the frustration a necessary part of learning? ….In fact, if students aren’t occasionally frustrated, it is probably a bad thing – it means they aren’t taking enough risks, they aren’t pushing themselves sufficiently.”

p.63 www.gamesparentsteachers

p.113 Prensky runs through Coveys seven habits and shows how games enable/enforce these habits….  Individual habits – be proactive, begin with the end in mind, put first things first.  Group habits – think win/win, seek first to understand, then to be understood, synergize.  Sharpen the saw – improve skills and learn new ones.  Being successful at playing today’s video games helps you succeed in life.

p.128 cell phones as outboard brain and learning tools.

p.185 Black and White, Socialimpactgames.com

p. 188 timrylands.com, mackenty.org, silversprite.com, case studies of games and learning

p. 214 Spore, Chemicus, Incredible Machine, Supermonkey ball, mind rover.

The discussion of the ‘digital native’ was insightful.  I was reminded of Rainbows End, by Vinge.  Today’s kids are growing up with digital technology.  They are digital natives and we are digital immigrants.  Our accent is obvious when we print out email, turn to the internet second, read the manual!, print a document to edit it, calling to make sure someone got out email….  And immigrants teaching natives is a problem.  Presnky discusses neuroplasticity, suggesting digital natives think differently, that their brains are actually physically different than ours.

Prensky addresses many concerns that people have about today’s games.  However, regarding violent games, p. 82, “Do violent video games make young people aggressive?  …studies generally show that violent video games can have short-term or momentary effects on children, but there is little evidence of long-term changes.”

I’m not sure that makes me feel better.  Summed up, his suggestions: Limits? – absolutely, bans? – not only unnecessary but more likely to work against us.  And balance of gaming with other activities is important.


Entry filed under: feed my pet brain.

Long-tail Justice, Youtube Vigilantes Write in this book: active book modding

1 Comment Add your own

  • […] [I can’t refute these findings, but it’s certainly true in my experience.  I don’t know if it’s due to a shorter attention span or an increased willingness to try stuff out in a digital environment since you know you can’t screw it up that bad; even if you do there are no serious repercussions – you just reboot.  I am convinced digital natives think differently as Prensky discusses in Don’t bother me mom, I’m learning] […]


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