by KellyAnn Bonnell, MA
This past weekend we had the opportunity to attend Laughing Moon Con; and I have to say that we at Pop Goes the Classroom fell in love. The members of the League of Extraordinary Academics spend alot of time with PGTC promoting the importance of making learning relevant for our students. This is an easy task when the artifacts you are wanting to teach with are something the kids have experienced before, like movies or comic books. However, how do you make it relevant when your teaching with an RPG in a world of MMOs?
Todd Van Hooser answered that very question this weekend. Laughing Moon Con is a community event hosted by the school where Todd teaches. It was a one day event, with a low entry fee. He had vendors booths for game designers, comic artists, authors, crafters and other professionals. The high school clubs sold water and snacks and kids who have never experienced gaming before were exposed to a community of passionate informal learners.
I had the opportunity to see the event in action not only as an informal education advocate but also as a parent, as we took our 13 to the event with us. She had been saying she wanted to learn to play Munchkin after seeing it on an episode of Wil Wheaton’s Table Top . Of course, Steve Jackson Games Men In Black were out in full force with friend of PGTC Jesse Foster at the helm. She learned to play and has been talking about it ever since.
Kudos to Todd and his supporters for engaging the community in creating informal learning experiences for his students!