Opening Keynote #iste13: Jane McGonigal

"The opposite of play is not work. It is depression."-- Brian Sutton-Smith

So I made it to San Antonio, Texas for ISTE 2013. This is my first time to attend ISTE so I am pumped!!! The first event I attended was the Opening Keynote which was preceded by a 30 minute set by a local teen country band. Only in Texas!!!

Jane McGonigal's area of expertise is gaming. I honestly have never been a gamer, but I have raised one. My son and I were always having discussions about the many hours he spent connected to a device playing a video game. I thought it was too much. I told him to play outside and visit his friends. He said they were playing online (Xbox Live was popular at my house).

Although I did not approve of gaming as a parent, as a librarian, I adopted it in my library. I kept board games in my library for students to play. We purchased video consoles to host tournaments. I hoped to engage my patrons with a little gaming.

Engagement was a key to Jane's message today. Students are less and less engaged in school the older they get. Gamers, on the other hand, are fully engaged. She listed 10 positive emotions that gamers feel and as an educator I want my students to feel those same emotions in their learning. I want them to feel pride, curiosity, excitement, and creativity.

I texted the list of 10 positive emotions to my son and he agreed. As a gamer he feels that way when he is gaming. And he has listed for me many skills he has learned through gaming. I feel challenged now to explore what gaming has to offer my learners and how I can harness its power to make students "super empowered hopeful individuals."


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