Learning Will Become Personalized and Spontaneous, Game Expert Says


Jane McGonigal foresees an “extreme-learning IT environment.” (Chronicle photograph)

Anaheim, Calif.Jane McGonigal, a game designer and game researcher, says technology will intensify the personalization of the student experience in the coming years.

Speaking here at the Educause conference, Ms. McGonigal described a new environment ”where you can learn anytime, anyplace, and it is full of play and collaboration.”

The game expert is best known for trumpeting gaming as a tool for solving education and social problems. In 2010 she teamed up with the World Bank to create Evoke, a game that encourages participants to think about problems like hunger. Another of her creations challenged participants to imagine a world without oil—and forge solutions.

In the future, alternative, technology-facilitated learning models such as MOOCs and gaming will blend with the traditional brick-and-mortar approach, Ms. McGonigal said.

The result will be an “extreme-learning IT environment” in which experiences “can be so personalized, so spontaneous, and really connect students with real work and real social networks, and they can feel a part of what they are learning about and actually start to make creative contributions today while they are still in school.”

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