The Knowledge Constructor and eSports

In this photo a knowledge constructor is building with Jenga blocks

The Knowledge Constructor is one of the ISTE 2016 Standards for Students that tickles constructionist roots. In previous posts, eSports and the first two ISTE standards were explored. This post focuses on students gathering information and resources, synthesizing them together, and creating evidence of their synthesis. The standard states:

Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others.

With most eSports, there are a plethora of resources available online. Students will critically curate those resources, create playlists and even create their own resources for others.

Specifically, those who play League of Legends, which focuses on team work and strict strategy, rely on research, analysis and synthesis to become better players. The first two standard indicators are reflected in this idea:

Students plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits.

Students evaluate the accuracy, perspective, credibility and relevance of information, media, data or other resources.

Whether a student finds a strategy guide online, a YouTube video (or many)watches a live match on Twitch, or one of the almost 15 million match replays, they must critically evaluate the worth of these resources.

Riot Games, the creators of League of Legends, analyze everything during every match. In this blog post, they explain at what fine a detail everything is analyzed. Down to “the exact number of times every player in the world uses their abilities in-game.” The data break down is rich. Want to know if it is better to play games using Wifi or a hard wired ethernet cable? They have the raw data and analysis of that, too. The Insights Blog on the League of Legends website is a small sample of the potential for our students to engage in real world meaningful problem solving. There are even websites devoted to statistical analysis of League of Legends.

The third indicator of the standard involves meaningful curation and demonstration of synthesis.

Students curate information from digital resources using a variety of tools and methods to create collections of artifacts that demonstrate meaningful connections or conclusions.

As students evolve their gameplay, making these meaningful connections and conclusions will be key. It is a skill that is easy to overlook in teacher lessons. With the focus in the United States on testing and content, we are pushing meaningful learning experiences for our students to the side.

Finally, the fourth indicator goes beyond the League of Legends. However, the other three indicators build to the fourth.

Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.

Ths importance of developing these skills reminds me of the words of physicist William Pollard:

Information is a source of learning. But unless it is organized, processed, and available to the right people in a format for decision making, it is a burden, not a benefit.

Being data rich, but information poor is common in education. When people acquiesce because “the computer says,” there is an important story missing. The Knowledge Constructor knows how to makes sense of the data and tell that story.

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305/365: Constructor” by Martin Bauer is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0


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