Educator of the Week: Peggy Sheehy, Suffern Middle School
Who: Peggy Sheehy, sixth-grade humanities teacher at Suffern Middle School, former ITF/media specialist, and national leader in the use of video games and “virtual” games in after-school programs and as part of classroom instruction.
What’s new: After building a successful after-school program around World of Warcraft, an immensely popular online “role-playing” game, Sheehy has this year made WoW a key part of her sixth-grade humanities classes. She has co-authored a curriculum that links the game to the Common Core learning standards. “We have to meet these kids where they are, with what they care about,” she says.
About using games in the classroom: “They need to know about the Renaissance. They need to know about making inferences. They need to know how to pull citations from two different texts and to compare them to make their point. It’s my job, my responsibility, to expose them to this curriculum and, hopefully, help them develop mastery. I don’t have the license to let them just go off and discover on their own. This is much more structured than just some free game play. They’re getting the benefits of the on-line environment. They’re getting the benefits of the social aspect of things because learning is social. Learning is no longer this isolated event.”
Look for a story soon about Sheehy and her work in The Journal News/LoHud.com.
Read about the Wow in School project HERE.