from the world's big
Better Parenting Though Games
Katie Salen is a game designer, interactive designer, animator, and design educator. In 2009 she founded the first ever digital school for grades 6-12, Quest 2 Learn (Q2L) in New York. She is the co-author of "Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals," a textbook on game design, as well as the "Game Design Reader." She writes extensively on game design, design education, and game culture.
Question: How can parents find the right games for learning?
Katie Salen: The first thing I would say, and I do tell parents this: Just figure out what it is your kid is interested in. And also what are the kinds of things that they may be struggling with. So, if there’s a child that is struggling with a certain way of conceiving of complex problems. So maybe they’re struggling in math a little bit. There’s a lot of different kinds of games that give kids practice in ordering certain kinds of problems, working through certain sequences of logic. Maybe there’s a kid that has a passion around sports. Okay, sports games are a great opportunity for them to get in there and play with their friends, but also gain some facility around the technology.
And so mostly it has to do with trying to match an interest that our child might have with what a game might be offering. Not just in terms of content, but also in the type of game. So if you have a kid that is, let’s say is really interested in, and I’ll go back to the math and engineering. There’s a whole genre of games about building stuff. That might be a great genre of game for that kid. There may be a kid that’s interested—very detailed oriented kind of type A personality kid—real time strategy games are a great genre of games for those kids. And those are games where you are managing complex sets of resources in a simulation environment and try to advance toward a particular kind of goal.
Maybe you have a kid that’s really creative and interested in more open-ended kind of exploration. There’s a whole genre of adventure games that might be really good for that particular kind of child. So it just really has to do with what the situation is.
Question: How can parents participate in their kids' games?
Katie Salen: Well, the most important thing we know from a learning perspective is talk. So, kids that grow up in households where they don’t have an opportunity to talk with parents about what they’re doing, the kids tend to struggle in many ways because they haven’t again been given the opportunity to practice with the language, with using words, with putting together complex ideas, with creating arguments. So the simplest and biggest thing a parent can do with a child is to sit down and play with them. Play the game with them, talk with them about what they’re doing, prompt them, ask them questions. Kids love it when the parent asks them to show—that the kid will show the parent how to do something.
We have a program at the Institute of Play called Playforce where we bring in kids from third grade up to college and they play test games for us. And they tell us what they think are valuable about the games. And what we found is with some of the younger kids that the moms started coming in with the kids and they would sit next to them and start to play, and there was a radical change in the relationship; a.) between the parent’s understanding of what their kids were learning from these games and b.) just in the relationship between the parent and their child, as the child became an expert in explaining to the mom what they were doing, what they were learning, how to play the game. And so that’s a really powerful role that you can put your child in, is letting them be the teacher and letting them share with you what it is they find so interesting about this thing that they’re doing. And it has consequences in terms of their potential for future learning.
Recorded May 7, 2010
Interviewed by David Hirschman
Communication is key for effective parenting. The simplest and biggest thing a parent can do with a child is to sit down and play with them.
Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.
Health officials in China reported that a man was infected with bubonic plague, the infectious disease that caused the Black Death.
- The case was reported in the city of Bayannur, which has issued a level-three plague prevention warning.
- Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
- Chinese health officials are also monitoring a newly discovered type of swine flu that has the potential to develop into a pandemic virus.
Bacteria under microscope
needpix.com<p>Today, bubonic plague can be treated effectively with antibiotics.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Unlike in the 14th century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted," Dr. Shanthi Kappagoda, an infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care, told <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">Healthline</a>. "We know how to prevent it — avoid handling sick or dead animals in areas where there is transmission. We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics, and can give antibiotics to people who may have been exposed to the bacteria [and] prevent them [from] getting sick."</p>
This plague patient is displaying a swollen, ruptured inguinal lymph node, or buboe.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention<p>Still, hundreds of people develop bubonic plague every year. In the U.S., a handful of cases occur annually, particularly in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/plague/faq/index.html" target="_blank">where habitats allow the bacteria to spread more easily among wild rodent populations</a>. But these cases are very rare, mainly because you need to be in close contact with rodents in order to get infected. And though plague can spread from human to human, this <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">only occurs with pneumonic plague</a>, and transmission is also rare.</p>
A new swine flu in China<p>Last week, researchers in China also reported another public health concern: a new virus that has "all the essential hallmarks" of a pandemic virus.<br></p><p>In a paper published in the <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/06/23/1921186117" target="_blank">Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</a>, researchers say the virus was discovered in pigs in China, and it descended from the H1N1 virus, commonly called "swine flu." That virus was able to transmit from human to human, and it killed an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 people worldwide from 2009 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.</p>There's no evidence showing that the new virus can spread from person to person. But the researchers did find that 10 percent of swine workers had been infected by the virus, called G4 reassortant EA H1N1. This level of infectivity raises concerns, because it "greatly enhances the opportunity for virus adaptation in humans and raises concerns for the possible generation of pandemic viruses," the researchers wrote.
The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.
- The terms 'education' and 'learning' are often used interchangeably, but there is a cultural connotation to the former that can be limiting. Education naturally links to schooling, which is only one form of learning.
- Gregg Behr, founder and co-chair of Remake Learning, believes that this small word shift opens up the possibilities in terms of how and where learning can happen. It also becomes a more inclusive practice, welcoming in a larger, more diverse group of thinkers.
- Post-COVID, the way we think about what learning looks like will inevitably change, so it's crucial to adjust and begin building the necessary support systems today.
Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.
Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.
- Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
- New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
- Times of crisis tend to increase self-centered acts.