Ali Carr-Chellman

Head, Learning and Performance Systems Department, Penn State University
Port Matilda, PA, United States

About Ali

Areas of Expertise

Change and Diffusion, Change and learning, Innovation and Change, Instructional Design & Technology, Instructional design and blended learning, Teacher Education professor, Boys and Gaming, Educational Uses of Technology

Comments & conversations

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Ali Carr-Chellman
Posted 10 days ago
Ali Carr-Chellman: Gaming to re-engage boys in learning
Indeed Bevin, there are a lot of amazing things going on out there. Another English teacher in Canada has been using "Gone Home" as a game to teach narrative structures and the like. I think it's great all the advances we've had. Gates has one, several others are around, Katie Salen has a great school out in NYC as well. Amazing, really. I would love to see us using commercially available off the shelf gaming in traditional classrooms, that would be ideal as it would send a message to boys that they belong there!
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Ali Carr-Chellman
Posted 5 months ago
Ali Carr-Chellman: Gaming to re-engage boys in learning
Thanks Marie-Claude, I appreciate your comment. I believe that the statistics that I cited were correct at that time IF you control for social gaming, facebook gaming and the like, which are significantly different from traditional video gaming, the focus of my talk. In the UK the industry is completely male dominated at something like 90+% http://www.edge-online.com/news/uk-games-industry-96-male-dominated-study/ The industry of those who are creating games is heavily male dominated, part of the reason why there aren't more girl gamers indeed. There are lots of initiatives to ensure more women in the industry right now. You're right...as a woman and a former girl, I can attest to the importance of our gender in the world biologically, culturally and so forth. I'm not at all interested in disadvantaging girls, not at all. In fact, I'd strongly suggest that all active kids, girls and boys, are not particularly well-served by the current curriculum. As well, many girls while they may be willing to find ways to succeed and "do school" well, they are not well served by this system either, and better ways to engage them would benefit them enormously. In my view, gaming as it stands actually DOES help boys understand others and connect in healthy and constructive ways. Please understand that violent fantasy life is a normal healthy male developmental stage and shouldn't be quashed in my view.
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Ali Carr-Chellman
Posted 6 months ago
Ali Carr-Chellman: Gaming to re-engage boys in learning
Anyone knew that there was a study in 2000 that looked at the movements of diagnosed, unmedicated ADHD boys when playing video games? Compared to non ADHD boys, they found NO difference statistically in movements to everyone's surprise. In fact, ADHD is perhaps simply a way to say "not interested"... a message from boys to their schools. Engage them!
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Ali Carr-Chellman
Posted 6 months ago
Ali Carr-Chellman: Gaming to re-engage boys in learning
This is probably why we don't look to the schools that work for solutions...because they are rare and overbooked. That is in too many cases great schools while highly successful are limited, and sometimes they can't take all kids who need them. Single solutions that we think we can adopt all over the place is not likely to work. Local solutions are needed for local needs. Games are but one idea for changing CULTURE, the culture of the school you describe is different from the other three--thus it's preferred. My kids go to a charter school that is TEACHER led, there is no principal or curricular leader the teachers determine it, and still manage to live within the horrid testing that is indeed killing schools' impact.
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Ali Carr-Chellman
Posted 6 months ago
Ali Carr-Chellman: Gaming to re-engage boys in learning
Yes, and thank you for this. WHile the feminisation of the classroom is surely one aspect of the issue, it's not really good to "blame" this or the feminist movement. The feminist movement has had much good to recommend it. What concerns me is if the classroom becomes a place where ONLY feminist values can live then we have a problem, and this MAY be what we're facing now.
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Ali Carr-Chellman
Posted 7 months ago
Ali Carr-Chellman: Gaming to re-engage boys in learning
Love Neil Postman, and have read almost everything he's ever written, doesn't keep me from suggesting that this is one way to try to reach out to boys and communicate something very different about the culture of schools. Democratic schooling is a very important possible alternative, but like many alternatives it's not likely to hit mainstream. My own thinking has evolved and I don't really look for us to put expensive games into classrooms, I'm more interested in putting commercial off the shelf games into classrooms and seeing the kinds of real learning (problem solving, critical thinking, grit) that gaming really builds, as I believe it does. Thanks for your thoughts on this and for the dialogue.
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Ali Carr-Chellman
Posted 7 months ago
Ali Carr-Chellman: Gaming to re-engage boys in learning
Right, only a small part of the potential solution, it's instead an issue of school culture. Software hardware, curriculum, yes, it's all needed and we need to get it done well, but we also need to pursue high point leverage to change the school culture for boys...that's what I'm working on now.