Don't Bother Me Mom--I'm Learning! How Computer and Video Games are Preparing Your Kids for 21st Century Success - and How You Can Help!

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2006-02-14
  • Publisher: Paragon House

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The POSITIVE Guide for Parents Concerned About Their Kids' Video and Computer Game Playing"Marc knows it all depends on how we use our games. He knows that if parents place good video games into a learning system in their homes they can reap major benefits for their children and themselves. They can accelerate their children's language and cognitive growth." —James Paul Gee, Tashia Mogridge Professor of Reading, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Marc Prensky presents the case—profoundly counter-cultural but true nevertheless—that video and computer game playing, within limits, is actually very beneficial to today's "Digital Native" kids, who are using them to prepare themselves for life in the 21st century. The reason kids are so attracted to these games, Prensky says, is that they are learning about important "future" things, from collaboration, to prudent risk taking, to strategy formulation and execution, to complex moral and ethical decisions. Prensky's arguments are backed up by university PhD's studying not just violence, but games in their totality, as well as studies of gamers who have become successful corporate workers, entrepreneurs, leaders, doctors, lawyers, scientists and other professionals.

Because most adults (including the critics) can't play the modern complex games themselves (and discount the opinions of the kids who do play them) they rely on secondhand sources of information, most of whom are sadly misinformed about both the putative harm and the true benefits of game-playing. This book is the antidote to those misinformed, bombastic sources, in the press and elsewhere. Full of common sense and practical information, it provides parents with a large number of techniques approaches they can use—both over time and right away—to improve both their understanding of games and their relationships with their kids.

What You Will Learn

The aim of this book is to give you a peek into the hidden world into which your kids disappear when they are playing games, and to help you as an adult—especially if you are a concerned parent or teacher—understand and appreciate just how much your kids are learning that is POSITIVE from their video and computer games.

In the few short hours it takes to read this book, you will learn: What it feels like to be in the world of computer and video games; How to appreciate the breadth and depth of modern computer and video games and the ways they make your kids learn; How to understand the various USEFUL skills your game-playing your kids are acquiring; How to understand your own kids better and build better relationships using games as a base; And, most importantly, How to augment and improve what your kids are learning by HAVING CONVERSATIONS THAT THEY WANT TO HAVE about their games.

Table of Contents

Introduction xv
Foreword xix
Part I: Games Are NOT The Enemy 1(24)
1 Of Course You're Worried: You Have No Idea What's Going On!
2 The Really Good News About Your Kids' Games
3 But Wait—What about All That Bad Stuff I Hear About in the Press
Part II: The Rise of the Digital Native 25(28)
4 Our Kids Are Not Like Us: They're Natives, We're Immigrants
5 Do They Really Think Differently?
6 The Emerging Online Life of the Digital Native
Part III: What's Different About Today's Games 53(48)
7 Complexity Matters: What Most Adults Don't Understand About Games
8 What Kids Learn That's POSITIVE From Playing Computer Games
9 The Motivation of Gameplay
10 Adaptivity in Games Really Leaving No Child Behind
11 It's Not Just the Games—It's the System
Part IV: What Kids Are Learning (On Their Own) 101(36)
12 Economics and Business Lessons for a 10-Year-Old From a Computer Game
13 How Kids Learn to Cooperate in Video Games
14 Video Games Are Our Kids' First Ethics Lessons (Believe it or Not!)
15 The Seven Games of Highly Effective People
16 Making Games of Their Own: Modding
17 Playing Video Games to Stay Healthy (Yes, Video Games!)
18 What Our Kids Could Be Learning from Their Cell Phones
Part IV: How Parents, Teachers, and All Adults Can Get In The Game! 137(80)
19 Talk to Your Kids; Value What They Know
20 The New Language—A Digital immigrant Remedial Vocabulary.
21 How Parents Who "Get It" Are Educating Their Kids about Games
22 Girls, Boys, Parents, Grandparents There Are Games for Everyone
23 Moving Past "Edutainment": Curricular Games Are Coming
24 For Teachers: Using Games in the Curriculum and Classroom
25 What Can Kids Learn On Their Own?
26 Are You as Brave as Your Kids?—Try It Yourself!
27 What to Do 'Right Now
Conclusion 217(2)
Epilogue 219(2)
Appendix: A Parent-Teacher Toolkit 221(2)
Notes 223(16)
Further Reading 239(4)
Index 243(11)
About the Author 254

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