Choice is a really big idea to add to any classroom. Differentiation is the term that is kicked around a lot but the idea is that projects can be completed in a variety of ways. I often provide too many options so there are so many projects going on at the same time, my class can seem chaotic. However, I love this hive of workers. It is rejuvenating.
We have to compete collaboratively. Students will do their best work when then work in teams, not in silos. I teach Game Design and when my students ask if they can create a Halo type FPS game, I scoff. That game was not completed by one person; people should be working in teams even if they are getting critical feedback on what can make their work even better.
It is my short-term goal to get my students working together and I dream of the day when students will look around them and find a student working solo and find a way to incorporate them into the group. Everyone always has something to add to a group. Students should find people that are different than them, they should seek opportunities that will make them uncomfortable and they will learn more.
I loved what James Paul Gee had to say about fan fiction sites are being populated by game players. These gaming students have amazing capabilities to understand how to make games relevant for learning and we diminish their abilities. I have found that gamers are problem solvers and renaissance thinkers. I enjoy seeing what they come up with when it comes to game creation.