Why teach project based learning? Engaging students in active content allows them to integrate a variety of skill sets within a core subject seamlessly. The students do not feel overwhelmed with managing a lot of different core subject(s) because it is contained within.
According to the article, students will go more in-depth and be more engaged with the learning process and thus have a vibrant "real" experience. Projects are relavant, foster organizational skills and interpersonal relationships which are critical for lifelong learning and employment. In a nutshell, the learning experience is enriched and enhanced because it allows a collaboration of fellow students to develop ideas to levels not even available 5-10 years ago.
I feel that "games" sometimes are given a bad rap because we are using an "adult" perspective on a "child's" experience. As adults, we have a black and white with little areas of "gray" outlook on what is work and play. Kids at play are truly working on development of the social interaction skills necessary to cooperative with others. How many times as adults do we find ourselves getting sidetracked with interpersonal issues in the workplace? Is this a result of not "playing" enough as a child? Kids are more receptive and flexible when it comes to learning the ropes of working with others.
We live in a technological enriched environment depending on the geographical location within the state and nation. It is hard to believe folks in outlying areas are still dealing with dial-up connections when we are high speed. Awareness and tolerance, allowance for these differences must remain in the back of our activity generating minds.
Kids have a lot of tools/game stations (i.e., Wii, Playstation, Ninetendo, etc.) available that as educators we need to capitalize on. The use of "virtual" environments on a variety of platforms puts the experiences in an arena that kids do not realize all the skills they are learning while thinking it is "play" or downtime. I refer to it as the "backdoor" experience.