Video games and the future of learning


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I realize that many people still feel that video games are bad, and I agree that there should be limits on them. However, I also agree that my children have learned quite a bit from them. In the multi-player games they learn different types of team-work. My oldest has played Roblox off and on for several years.

It allows the players to design their own uniforms.


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My youngest son has become a huge addict of Madden. He can tell me more about the stats of current and old players than I could ever retain. Not only that — the players have contracts. He has to manage his money so that the contracts renew and he trades players as necessary. He is constantly working on his account; finances, plays, players, challenges etc.

This is Why Video Games are the Future of Education

As for pure education — there are some great games out there for younger children. We incorporated those as well, but they became bored with them after about 4th grade. For the older grades, I agree that they would really have to step it up. I am looking forward to seeing the responses to this one! My 8-year-old loves video games. I really have to be diligent about setting the timer, for he would play for hours on end if we let him.

I see where the games he plays have contributed to fine motor skills finger, hand, eye coordination and even gross motor skills certain, active Wii games. I also see where they have been a valuable part of teaching him problem solving skills, something this math mommy highly values.

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The games he loves to play on my phone have a little more educational value since I love puzzles and gravitate to those games. He is developing critical thinking skills as the puzzles get more and more challenging, and we discuss a little about the games such as the physics in Angry Birds. By the way, if you are ever here in Florida soon, Kennedy Space Center recently added a fun Angry Birds interactive area.

The people who develop educational games really are missing the mark, though. Graphics, plots, and interactivity are sorely lacking. I have seen school performance detoriate with the increase of video games. Attention spans detoriate. Social skills also diminish. As a recent teachers college graduate and gamer I love the fact that games are becoming more accepted as a teaching tool.

For example, most video games will try to submerge you in magnificent and majestic settings either creating brand new environments to play in or recreating familar areas in new ways. While the environments may be computer generated they provide amazing visual stimulus that can drive artistic creativity by exposing children to rich vivid colours and exotic locations they would never think of. In the same vein, video games allow children to visit real places, say New York City, but throughout different periods in history. We might not think, it but video games create this opportunity.

How is it that many young children i know think classical music is boring but as soon as you package classical music around a video game experience they can sit and listen for hours while they play a game? Another interesting point that many people look over is that video games drive literacy.

The elusive power of video games for education

Most games have stories you have to follow along. The story is either shown written on screen, said by a character or both are used in combination. So now you have children having to read stories which works on their reading skills. They have to listen to stories which works on their listening skills. I could go on and on. My last point and perhaps the most overlooked point is the social aspect. Since you are playing online you have no idea who you are playing with on the other end.

Are Video Games the future of Education? - Future Thinking - BRITLAB

You only know their username. I know in this age of child predators and online bullying this can be scary, but stay with me for one more second. What this means is that you are able to play with other people without knowing their age, race or sex and the only thing you can judge them on is their playing ability.

Think of how many times you have heard a child call someone a noob. Now think of how many times you have heard a child call someone a black noob, or a fat noob or a slutty noob. Students can interact with other people all over the world creating friendships and bonds that no other experience can provide without leaving your home.

They played online together for years and met for the first time when he got married. I wish that more educators would have the courage to incorporate video games into schools especially since it would make teachers jobs way easier. It would engage kids, drive learning but most important create and build relationships. I challenge any teacher to sit down and play ten minutes of video games with a student and not leave that session having built a better closer relationship with that student. Playing games is a shared experience and when you play with someone else you instantly have that experience in common and have something you can relate to and talk about on an even level.

As an educator who believes that creating relationships and fostering community in a classroom is the most important thing a teacher needs to achieve in order to successfully teach their class, I would beg, borrow and steal to bring video games into my classroom if its only role was to help build relationships between me and my students. I think that comes a lot form my husband being a computer programmer though. They need to start making those decisions for themselves at the age the are at. I believe my kids learn a lot from interacting in the games and even talking about what happened afterward.

The narration from that is terrific. But I think we lose a lot when we start labeling games as educational or not. One child may learn something from a game just because they make a personal connection whether that game was sold as educational or not. There are neurocognitive studies about the spatial reasoning and procedural skills taught through video games that actually counteract a lot of the problematic messages advanced in the genre i.

Down Time is Productive

There are many more resources out there, but Gee and Bogost are really considered to be the seminal authors on the subject. Yesterday, I had four kids my two and their friends over at my house playing Minecraft.


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  • The kids were 7 — 10 years old. It was just as you mentioned — discussion, collaboration, arguing but not in a bad way , etc. My son also has had a variety of speech and social issues milder now , and I was thrilled with what I was hearing. I do put time limits on the computer as I have seen with my son that it does affect his creative play at times. My husband and I believe this is because of his playing games.. We do controll what kind of games he and his younger sister plays… We have the Wii and the Wii-U and allow MArio,sonic non.

    Also — something to keep in mind — more and more companies like Microsoft are conducting their training through videogame formats. Still, if I thought there would be educational benefit to video games, I might consider using them.

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    One can try to argue that there are studies both ways, showing both benefits and negatives to using video games as educational tools, but the long and short of it is that video games DO change the brain. I much prefer the idea of sending them to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity rather than playing Minecraft which was a disaster around here for my son, who would spend every waking — and a lot of moments when he should have been sleeping — moment scheming how to get back to his world and was relieved when it was taken away or having them build catapults rather than playing Angry Birds.

    YMMV, of course. Have you conducted research to prove these findings? Have you looked at a random group of children, charted their video game use and these effect you claim, to see if they are related? Have you considered if there are other factors to these conclusions you reached other than video games?

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    Department of Education Believes Video Games are the Future of Learning - GameSpot

    I appreciate opposing viewpoints on this blog and thank you for expressing your opinion. I think it is very relevant. This is a great discussion and very timely for me. The youngest age 15 is consumed with gaming. Special thanks to Jonathan for your comments! I agree with your complaints about video games, to an extent. They CAN be great learning tools and recreational activities IF, like anything else in life, they are monitored by parents and kept to moderation. Unfortunately, in my personal opinion, too many parents these days are not willing to take that on, in part because a child sitting and playing video games for hours on end gives the appearance of being well-behaved and self-managing without parental interference.

    My boys, 15 and 17, have played video games for the last 10 years. We limit their time each day with the games to 2 hours but allow them extra time to use computer programs for digital graphics, music making programs, writing programs, etc.. This game is one of the most useful games that I have seen available. It brings out extreme creativity in my boys. It has also helped develop social connections as they play it online with other friends and collaborate on different missions and goals that they want to achieve in their world.

    They have built amazing structures and it has even spurred them on to teach themselves Java programming language so they can create modifications to the game code. I did not have to suggest that at all! Read More Which colleges have the best return on investment? Not only does designing the game require students to grapple with history, it helps demystify computer science for students who might otherwise have shied away from it.

    Too often, Americans view science and technology as fields for which only a select few have the aptitude. We often hear, "Some people just can't do math. Certainly, mastering a STEM concept or one from any discipline requires focus and hard work, and we have found that borrowing from video games can help with that, too. Chemical engineering professor Josh Enszer used course-management software to replace typical grading with the mastery levels found in games. For example, if students turned in all assignments, it qualified as an "achievement" and they would hear Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" the next time they logged in.

    In a survey, the students endorsed the change as increasing both fun and motivation.


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    John Hennessy, president of Stanford University, reinforced the need for innovation in his recent lecture to university leaders at the American Council on Education conference in Washington. He challenged the audience to heed research suggesting that students typically pay attention to a lecture for fewer than seven minutes before their focus drifts.

    He recommended using the high production values and animation that games employ as one way to keep students engaged. Read More Robo-reality: How robots will change our lives. Since Oregon Trail made its way into elementary-school classrooms across the country, this approach has drawn skeptics who question whether students are learning or simply being entertained. To address such concerns, we must ensure that sound pedagogy forms the foundation of any gaming experience.

    At the core of the matter — across all levels of education — we are still talking about substantive interaction between faculty and students, whether the instructor is teaching in the classroom or supporting students in a gaming competition. The right use of technology in redesigned courses can improve teaching and learning. In particular, video-game simulations and interactivity make learning not only more enjoyable but more profound and long-lasting. Commentary by Freeman A. Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC delivered to your inbox. Get this delivered to your inbox, and more info about our products and services.

    Privacy Policy. All Rights Reserved. Data also provided by. Markets Pre-Markets U. Video games in the classroom? Welcome to the future of learning.

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