Kurt Squire is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Educational Communications and Technology division of Curriculum and Instruction. He is also a research scientist at the Academic ADL Co-Lab participating in the GAPPS research group. Along with Jim Gee, he runs the Room 130 research group examining games, learning, and literacy. He is a visiting Research Fellow at MIT and co-director of The Education Arcade, a research and service project investigating the educational potential of digital gaming.Squire earned his PhD from Indiana University in Instructional Systems Technology. His dissertation examined learning through playing Civilization III in three learning environments. He is also a former elementary and Montessori teacher. Squire's dissertation focused on how playing Civilization III mediated students' understandings of world history. Previously, he was research manager of the games-to-teach project at MIT. In 2000, he co-founded with Jon Goodwin joystick101.org, a web community studying game culture.
Apolyton University: The Higher Education of Gaming
Educators seeking to use game-based learning strategies have frequently bumped up against challenges in bringing games into classrooms as the social organization behind school communities is frequently at odds with those of school. Typical classrooms are built around the culture of the book; gaming cultures are built on what Starr (1996) and Turkle (1997) call "cultures of simulation." This presentation uses cognitive ethnography techniques to examine the social mechanisms at work in a self-organizing community of learning called Apolyton University, which is an online university for Civilization players. We argue that such spaces function as communities of inquiry, as they arise from players' questions and concerns about the game. Drawing from game field notes, analyses of online talk, and interviews with participants, we argue that participation in this community moves players toward a design-level understanding of Civilization III. We end by suggesting what a model of game-based learning based on similar social principles might look like.
A Conversation Across Generations of Media Scholars
Abstract available soon.
Managed Gaming in the College and High School Classroom:
Games, Learning and Identity