How do you teach this?
Posted June 6, 2012on:
Put in the want ads section of the paper, the ad was a novel way to bring eyeballs to the cause.
It also got me thinking about how school is supposed to prepare kids for their future work, and more specifically, the future of work.
If the kids are going to work obediently in factories, schools are doing a fine job. If they are not, then our schools are sorely lacking.
At the risk of sounding ridiculous, what if the ad above was real? How does one prepare a learner to be a torturer?
That example is not realistic given that the ad is a spoof. But it must be said that a few people are trained to do this kind of work, just not conventionally.
What is realistic are future jobs like in-game bodyguards. Not real life bodyguards, but protectors and guides in video games like Call of Duty and Battlefield. As the linked article reveals, one such bodyguard is a 15-year-old boy from England.
Some might say that being an in-game bodyguard is the boy’s hobby and not his career. Before you pooh-pooh that idea, consider the rise of cyberathletes, the online creation and trading of in-world or game artefacts [virtual consumerism], or simply the setting up of blog shops [examples].
So how do you teach these work and life skills?
In some cases, you do not teach conventionally at all. The gamers learn the trade (and tricks of the trade) themselves. My 8-year-old son recently started playing the online version of Minecraft. Thanks to YouTube videos by CaptainSparklez and Minecraft wikis [example], he has encyclopedic knowledge of the game.
As his parent and educator, I not only showed him how to find these resources, but also helped him decide if they were worthwhile.
For example, Sparklez is a great instructor and entertainer. His game voiceovers are engaging and he does not use crude expletives. But when he plays in multiplayer mode, his kin are less disciplined with their expressions. I told my son which Sparkles videos he could watch and which he should not and why.
I facilitate, monitor, and evaluate. I take interest and listen. I question and give feedback. I do not lecture because my son already is the content expert. That is what teachers can do too.