Michael Abbott has a nice post over at Brainy Gamer about taking an argument from the new Newsgames book and testing it using an assignment in class.

As a teacher, I’m intrigued by Newsgames’ argument, but how achievable are the potential outcomes its authors claim? Can a newsgame truly augment traditional journalism in meaningful ways? I decided to put one to the test and see for myself.

I tasked a group of eight students with the following assignment….

You can see what exactly he did, and what the outcomes were, in the post.  But I find this approach to pedagogy — asking students to attend to specific arguments in works of theory and criticism by working it out in concrete, experiential ways — to be not only a clever way to get students out in the world doing intellectual work, but really at the core of where I see education and pedagogy moving in general.

With the advent of digital networked technologies, a wide range of communication and knowledge tools have exploded our notions of what it means to practice learning; to do it.  And what people like Abbott are showing us is that at some level it makes so much more sense, connects so much more directly and fundamentally to our patterns of daily life, to be thinking in terms of active, engaged, experiential modes of learning and understanding than admittedly efficient for the teacher but ultimately so much less effective classroom-and-lecture approaches.