Technology is more sophisticated than it has ever been. Students, nowadays, show much more interest into the new technology than they have ever been. The use of Digital Gaming is more than ever prevalent, the use of Social Networking has been a power tool in connecting for all students, and Simulations are more widely used than ever before. "Every day, many students spend countless hours immersed in popular technologies-such as Facebook or MySpace, World of Warcraft, or Sim City-which at first glance may seem like a waste of time, and brain cells. But these genres of technologies-Social Networking, Digital Gaming, and Simulations-deserve a second, deeper, look at what's actually going on." These technologies are already demonstrating how they impact the way we think, learn, and interact-and they are also demonstrating the tremendous potential they have in these areas as well (Klopfer et al.).
The emergence of social networking technologies and the evolution of digital games have helped shape the new ways in which people are communicating, collaborating, operating, and forming social constructs. In fact, recent research shows us that these technologies are shaping the way we think, work, and live (Klopfer et al.).
This is especially true of our youngest generations- those arriving at classrooms doors, soon to be leaving them and entering the workforce and society-at-large. This transformation has serious implications for those in educational institutions. Nearly all institutions - business, industry, medicine, science and government - have introduced aspects of these technologies for decades. Games and simulations have been a key component of training doctors and military personnel, even businesses like PricewaterhouseCoopers use games to teach its employees about derivatives (Klopfer et al.). These technologies have been of importance to these institutions and should be considered for a second and deeper look by educational institutions.
There have been suggestions which were brought forward to educational institutions, advising these institutions to integrate learning in the classroom with today's technologies in which students are interested in. However, educational institutions have not taken these suggestions into a more relevant consideration mainly because of its cost compared to its benefits; our generally accepted traditional thoughts about learning; less technologically proficient teachers and administrators; the safety of the students; and the effects of the integration of technology as a learning tool. Simulations, digital gaming, and social networking technologies have all been around for a while now, but how long should it be before we realize its effectiveness as a learning tool. An effective analysis of the cost and benefits of Simulations, Digital Games, and Social Networking has created some of the problems in which more educational institutions take into consideration. The cost of these technologies may be a bit high; nevertheless, its outcome justifies the price being paid.
The capacity for digital games, simulations and social networking technologies to facilitate and leverage deep learning is evident enough to warrant further exploration and the development of new best practices. But we don't need to wait for the distant future to understand if and how we can implement these technologies. Students today are using these technologies now, and these technologies should be taken into a more relevant consideration to help and promote learning amongst all our students. I addition, There are countless examples of these technologies demonstrating their educational value to other industries, confirming the powerful learning opportunities and advantages they afford. It is our position that these technologies are safe, valuable tools schools must take seriously" (Klopfer et al.).
Klopfer, Eric, Scot Osterweil, Jennifer Groff, and Jason Haas.
"Using the Technology of Today, in the Classroom Today." Massachusette: Education Arcade Paper, 2009.