Author: Charlie Hall
Can games be a useful learning tool in formal education environments? Schools like ChicagoQuest certainly think so. In Charlie Hall's piece or Polygon (with accompanying video above), he shows how ChicagoQuest integrates games into their curriculum in ways that still make good on common core standards and don't abandon more traditional tools for learning either. It's all in the service of educating kids in systems thinking, so they can be critical observers of the world around them and potentially come up with feasible improvements or solutions.
It's great that ChicagoQuest was able to build so much of their institution from relative scratch because often it seems like digital media-integrated pedagogical models are tough sells in long-standing, set-in-their-ways schools. Sometimes it's a matter of funding, sometimes it's a matter of tech-savviness, and sometimes it's a matter of acceptance, but an of those factors can lead to dismissal or aversion to games integration. I'm not here to sell you on games in schools, but I would suggest giving this piece on ChicagoQuest a read and seeing what you think.