Pontfications on the field of Educational Technology and Instructional Design.
Bare with me as I ponder the meaning of education in the 21st century from the perspecitive of an instructional designer.
Friday, May 9, 2008
Of Zork and Dorks...
Ok. I admit it. When I was a Jr. Higher I loved to play Zork 1 on the computer. It was an interactive fiction "game" that had no graphics whatsoever. In fact, it was purely text. The game happened in my imagination as I interacted with the computer software and plowed through the adventure. I always assumed that I liked it because I was a bit of a geeky dork who enjoyed such things.
Fast forward 20+ years and Zork 1 is back in my life. I was first reminded of it when I read it on TJ Kopcha's blog, my professor from SDSU, as "interactive fiction". The thought was that there might be some real value in this for education today.
Turns out he was right. I decided to install it in my lab and invite classes down during their reading period to "read" the interactive fiction. Kids absolutely love it. They don't even seem to realize that they are reading intently for meaning, writing clearly, and making decisions about what they are reading. Since then, I've brought it into my own exploratory computers class for a reward activity and kids just can't seem to get enough of it.
So turns out that Zork has universal appeal and that maybe I'm not such a dork after all. Well, maybe.