School system to host video game program
By Meg Ferrante
As a counselor at the primary and elementary schools and a grandparent, Marsha Rosenthal finds herself worrying about video games. Her 5-year-old grandson wants to get on the computer all the time.
Kids in her counseling groups want to talk about video games all the time. She wants them to think and talk about things that are real. So where's the happy medium?
That question was the basis for the primary and elementary counselors planning the upcoming parent education program titled, "Making The Most of Your Kid’s Game Play: What Can We Learn About How Kids Play Video Games?"
"There are a number of us who didn't grow up with video games who have concerns about what videos are teaching," Rosenthal says. "Is something good coming out of this? And how can we harness the teaching for something good?"
The event starts at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 26, at the Morgan County Primary School Media Center. Rosenthal has lined up guest speaker Tom Satwicz, an Assistant Professor in the Learning and Performance Support Laboratory (LPSL) at the University of Georgia’s College of Education. Satwicz, who has conducted an ethnographic study of young people’s video game practices, focuses his research on informal learning and technology use in everyday settings.
Topics for the evening will range from how kids learn while playing video games to how parents can make gaming more of a family activity.
Rosenthal says Satwicz hopes to go beyond the perspective that games are no more than just button mashing and explore the kinds of problems games present kids and how they go about solving them. Additionally, the video game rating system and game content will be discussed. And for more advanced involvement, Satwicz has information about finding books that support game brands or characters, along with the possibility of helping children develop and design their own games.
For more information about the program, contact counselors Marsha Rosenthal, Diane Halloran, Stacy Waldron or Deanna Klein at (706) 342-3475 or (706) 342-5039.
PUBLISHED IN THE FEBRUARY 12, 2009 EDITION