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[PATV] Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - Extra Credits Season 6, Ep. 22: Games in Education

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    FluxOblivionFluxOblivion Registered User new member
    @darkhog

    Well yeah, that's because the people that make them don't understand games, or what makes them engaging. If developers that knew what they were doing started making them, and were properly implemented into a classroom environment, imagine the potential gaming could have on the education system.

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    flyingrobotflyingrobot Registered User new member
    I was pondering with this idea for a long time. Never actually figured it out how to make it work. My trials and tribulations.

    This is a mix of driving and quiz.
    https://www.facebook.com/QuizSafariCommunity

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    GuturGutur Registered User new member
    We (a mini german game studio) are in end-production for a neat little game based on this study http://www.pnas.org/content/103/31/11778.full.pdf
    It seemed too simple at first but after playtesting the first prototypes it turned out "super effective" to combine the players concentration on a given object with simply mentioning the word (audio) in a foreign language. You'll never forget what an umbrella is called in french, it just sticks.
    We plan to release for iOS tablets in fall and will submit Infos to "Games for Good" as they become available. We're very excited to see how this technique stands up "in the wild".
    Cheers /Carsten

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    kalmondokalmondo Registered User regular
    @Gutur That is how rosetta stone works. They say something, than you have to guess what they are talking about to choose the right option.

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    Titanium DragonTitanium Dragon Registered User regular
    The idea that games are actually useful for education is kind of part of the problem in the first place. It isn't that it isn't true, it is that it isn't meaningful.

    The reality - and here is where cold, hard truth comes in - is that you (and people like you) are part of the problem. A BIG part of the problem. The truth is you've missed the most fundamental thing of all.

    Learning, in and of itself, is fun. Learning is what makes games fun, not the other way around. Learning is engaging, and we have a deep-seated drive to learn because it gave our ancestors a major advantage in survival. Learning how to do something new is a fun activity. This is why playing the same game over and over again because you have to is NOT FUN - because you aren't learning anything.

    What many games do is pretend like you are accomplishing something while actually giving you nothing. MMOs are the worst offenders, but this is true of many games. They are ultimately empty experiences. Indeed, almost all of the games which are the biggest time sinks are the WORST kinds of games. The best kinds of games for you are the games where you have to actually learn, try, and become better. Those games where you are spending your time working on builds are mostly bad for you, junk food, giving you false rewards.

    The key is simple. You don't act as if learning is a burden, but that it is a privilege. That learning is fun and awesome. Because it is. People like you are the problem. You think that learning isn't fun, and you have to dress it up in a game to make it fun. The truth is that learning things is inherently fun, and when you act as though it isn't, you are making it less fun for people. You are burdening them.

    Incidentally, while it was probably an aside joke, standardized tests are a good thing, not a bad thing. People who say otherwise are, universally, worthless and another part of the problem.

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    kalmondokalmondo Registered User regular
    No offense @Titanium Dragon , But that is such a half truth. Learning is fun because of the feeling of reward we get when we a achieve something. Not because of the learning. Forced learning, as is going on is schools these days, is not doing anyone any good. As soon as you force anything, humans naturally resist. Fact. Tell any kid that they have to watch their favorite show. Than tell them that they must watch it at 5pm. Then tell them you will have a 3 page quiz over what they learned from the movie. Sounds nice, but because they now have to, and because they must learn something from it, now you have the problem of it loosing its fun. Hence this episode on not being able to force learning.

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    JetstopiaJetstopia Registered User new member
    @Titanium Dragon. Are you a teacher or just someone with an opinion. Not to say that you haven't expressed your opinion well but I disagree with parts of it.

    Yes. I think Learning is fun. But it varies between people and content. I don't agree that learning is what makes games fun on their own. Every gamer (and there had been an episode touching on this stuff previously) plays particular games for different reasons. The "time sinking" games are good for just that - vegging and sinking some time.

    I dont think there is a BIG problem in trying to introduce games into education. I do on there other hand think there is a BIG problem with the current education systems. I'm Australian and my understanding is that Americas is reasonably comparable to ours. Education can be a long debate but basically I think that the system is outdated and needs a complete overhaul I have no suggestions on how to do that though and understand thats part of the problem

    I also don't agree with standardized tests and honestly think your support of them is a bit over the top. I understand why standardized tests are used though (kinda ties back into the overhaul needed).

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    MerlynnMerlynn Registered User regular
    Games can teach about the real world by emulating the real world. Why learn to navigate a made up world when you can learn to navigate the real world? Because it's too big. There's really no way to shove a city the size of LA into a video game. In fact,most games,you're lucky to shove a large town into a game space with any sort of detail. But you can use general town locations on a world map to teach basic geography. You can force the player to calculate their hit chance in order to hit and do damage. You can teach philosophies and ideals and you can teach them about basic strategy and maneuvers. There's a lot to learn from gaming but you gotta know how to teach it.

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    The Internets GirlfriendThe Internets Girlfriend Registered User new member
    after watching this video this morning my sister sent me an interesting talk that is well worth checking out if you are interested in what they talked about in this episode https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=FktsFcooIG8

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    ElosandeElosande USARegistered User new member
    I'm a bit late to the party but if I may note: I'm surprised no one's mentioned achievements. When you think about it Achievements aren't anything but a merit badge, a thing saying 'you've done this!' and a numerical value that honestly doesn't matter. In spite of this, people will go out of their way to get even the most mundane achievements. Furthermore, whenever a player does poorly in a game or doesn't get the result they want a simple 'try again' option or hitting reset immediately gives them to keep trying until they get what they want.

    I understand the A-F grading system is to reward those for doing well and punish those for doing poorly but perhaps there's something to gleam from a list of accomplishments for students to be proud of? I understand the purpose of tests is to give a definite success/failure that acts in a similar manner to a real world job but perhaps there's something we can take out of giving students a chance to try for those big goals more then once or twice?

    What do you all think?

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    speedplayspeedplay Educational Technology Coordinator UW MilwaukeeRegistered User regular
    I really loved the introduction to the Reality Ends Here game. I immediately realized how valuable such a concept could be to my own work on implementing an incipient state-wide requirement to initial teacher licensure in WI - the edTPA assessment. This new assessment requires students to submit a video recording of their classroom teaching. The challenges are many, and one of them is that students are at some level being assessed on a skill-set that they don't receive as part of their ordinary instruction (video recording and basic video editing).

    Common sense and surveys indicate that the students who do best on the video recording are those who have experience with doing that. The challenge is then figuring out how to speak to faculty about how to alter their syllabi to include these video recording pieces (and if any of you have ever tried to convince a school of faculty to alter their syllabi, you'll understand how sizable of a task this is).

    Using the Deal to address curricular elements would be a novel way to maintain the level of content integration already in the courses, while adding a fun new element. It also provides an answer for the FERPA related challenges of trying to have students try to do non-consequential recording in classrooms.

    Other thoughts: I'm in a pool of people now who include Kurt Squire and JP Gee (one of my colleagues worked on Quest Atlantis with Squire). My gut feeling is that James is bringing up a significant point. So much of my own study revolves around design elements that motivate learning behaviors, but that study presupposes that the student is already interested in engaging with the game. As much as Squire does great stuff with Civ (the game), I now really wonder whether the appropriate stance is one of saying, "Play this game as a way of reinforcing what you learn, and of encouraging novel exploration of the subject," or if we really do need to think about what games people already play and why they play them in the first place (or if they even enjoy playing games at all!).

    And Daniel is right, that's going to be a tough nut to crack. Still, I am very optimistic. At the very least I think that Max Lieberman’s (2010), “Four ways to teach with video games” explores a possible way to think about this, which explores some varieties of games and learning that don't rely on the, "You will now play this game and learn X" mentality.

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    mokasticmokastic Registered User new member
    When hear about this subject one thing comes to my mind that I think makes clear that games have something to offer to education. When I was 10 years old pokemon red/blue was released and every kid at my school and my neighbourhood was playing it. At school we either had a hard time learning something or memorizing it for a test only to forget it later. However all of us knew every pokemon, their moves, at what level they evolved and could memorize dungeons and personally I still know all these things (and without ever making an conscious effort to learn them in the first place).

    How many of us know volumes of video game lore, from elder scrolls to mass effect, know the history of their worlds? Our enthusiasm to learn all that is what makes us to know every planet and region in the Star Wars universe even though we may have trouble learning our own world's geography. I think we need "context" to our education to inspire us.

    However games in education doesn't only apply to memorizing stuff. Imagine if kids learned physics just by playing a game like angry birds or geometry and math with puzzle game and so many more possibilities. Not to mention all the apparent effects video games can have like learning how to cooperate, socializing, working towards a common goal or even competing against each other.

    Truth be told I don't know how we could apply games to modern education as it is without making the games themselves a chore but I think the potential of games in our education is at the least worth exploring.

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    MrSmith317MrSmith317 Registered User new member
    If you want games in education, we need the OASIS. Something so immersed that the people using it can't tell the difference between what they're doing outside vs inside. Assign XP instead of grades and level up and give opportunities for leveling by grinding(to those that are struggling) Give everyone the same playing field and allow them to choose their own path in order to reach the agreed upon goal. Either that or a really good skinner box will do nicely.

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    flyingrobotflyingrobot Registered User new member
    edited August 2013
    Learning is fun and games are nothing but a well crafted learning path of some new mechanics. But mostly it teaches abstract mechanics which may be of little relevancy with real life.

    For example take Temple Run, we play the game and learn how to avoid hitting obstacles or falling over. That mechanic is an abstraction of running. So, if we work on this game and make a super realistic running simulation with occulus rift etc to make it relevant to real life and hence make it educational, will it make it better or worse.

    The truth is, it won't help the game. Games are more digestable chunks of learning than real life. So the fun will be gone to make it completely realistic.

    But education is about learning the real thing, not abstract. Apart from storytelling (history etc), it's quite a challenge to make the both ends meet.

    flyingrobot on
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    The_MormegilThe_Mormegil Registered User regular
    Just an odd thought, but... how about looking into esports to figure out a potential solution? I mean, esports are trying to make sure people get involved in seeing games as a sport. If you could get a school to recognize a game as a sport, you probably will be able to get most students to at least try it out (for peer recognition) and with a decent enough system you might get people that do not like the game rooting and contributing to the experience (I'm thinking supporters-style). We have inter-school basketball tournaments, so what if we had an educational game that was fun to play and fun to watch? Could we make it so schools play that game and compete?

    I think yes. I know of something very similar being done with Math Olympiads. So maybe this is a path to explore.

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    urknighterranturknighterrant Soulless Abberation Tallahassee, FLRegistered User regular
    @Jetstopia: Don't even bother. Titanium Dragon does this. He presents his opinions as if they are "cold hard facts". You should check out his comments in the Walking Dead episode. Funny as hell when he declared Candyland wasn't a game as if it was a cold hard fact (despite definitions from three independent sources stating clearly that his clearly articulated definition of the word game was basically a figment of his imagination).

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    miesdan21miesdan21 Registered User new member
    It's time we talk about organization. You have 142 amazing episodes, each better than the last. Currently they're ordered chronologically, which is essentially what the team was thinking about when. As a subscriber, I appreciate this since I have caught every episode and I am ready for where the journey takes me next. I have trouble with sharing this with other people though. 142 episodes is daunting in order to catch up on a topic. It would be helpful if you could organize your content into chapters. Then from there you can increase the interactivity through the use of hyperlinks and references. If possible even hosting some of the flash games on the same site that are referenced. I am not sure if you realize this or not, but Extra Credits has quickly become an amazing educational resource. The very things that have been taught about education are some that you might want to practice. Perhaps reach out to khanacademy, and form a relationship there as well would be useful. What you guys are doing is important, and I as a subscriber am ready for the next level of Extra Credits :)

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    NecunoNecuno Registered User regular
    This system (without games though) is already at work in universities. Students are often allowed to take the courses they want, not the courses they need. This often ends up in a student with a lot of useless knowledge. You have the same problem here, you are trying to play with motivation to align want with need. That my friends, is a very tough nut to crack, if it is at all possible. People tend to "play" systems like that, essentially cheating the systems, i think simply tweaking motivation is too hard to do with creatures as intelligent as humans. I think the only way around this issue is some sense of honor, which is often instilled through discipline and a feeling of group membership. This honor is not "fun", but it can be very fulfilling, which i think is a stronger motivator than "fun", no matter the motivational system build on top of it.

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    gtademgtadem Registered User regular
    School is not the same as education. The US school model still takes 3 months off in the summer so children can assist with the harvest even though only 3% of the population is involved in agriculture. When you consider tenure and public sector unions, it's very easy present day to even say that school is anti-education. Which is why people who were subjected to government schools for 12 years operate on the assumption that school is education.

    I think this is the biggest hurdle because it begins within ourselves and can taint the way we see the rest of the conversation if we let it.

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    ANTIcarrotANTIcarrot Registered User regular
    I am deeply sceptical about this. Part of the purpose of the daily grind at school is to prepare them for the daily grind of work.

    I can't imagine any kind of game that will prepare children and teenagers for how absolutely horrid the average work environment can be. It's all very well having aspirations for schools to be fun happy places of personal exploration - but how will this help them get a job afterwards?

    Much as we would like it to be otherwise, 99% of jobs involves knuckling down and getting on with it without supervision for hours at a time, 5 or six days a week, bracketed by a one or two hour commute, often for little net financial or personal reward. And that's assuming you can get a job. Not everyone in today's economy has that opportunity.

    I can easily see students getting disillusioned the first time they realise the difference between the fun happy school (however effective it is) and what their 'final reward' is. Most COD players don't want to join the army, because it sucks compared to the game. I can easily see a badly implemented school game system causing far more problems than it solves.

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    billythethirdbillythethird Registered User new member
    The biggest problem with education was only briefly touched on in this video. Kids need more one-on-one time with positive adult role models.

    More than ever there are families with one parent working two jobs and new parents ages are dropping. This puts more pressure on schools to raise kids but with increasing class sizes they don't have much more to give.

    Allowing kids to learn more through automated means such as games could help to alleviate some of that pressure but a more permanent solution would have to address the quality of life outside the classroom as well.

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    ThylbanusThylbanus Registered User regular
    I think that you were heading in the right direction there at the end. One of the most memorable things of High School was my teacher who just teased things out. She would throw a bunch of ideas out into the class and let us pick up what we wanted. Some picked up many (and got extra credit for it), some didn't at all (and initially weren't penalized for it). She left it up to us to set the focus for the class and we, for the most part, did. Looking back, I'm assuming that she made sure that the material she threw into the class was pertinent to what she had to teach. I have to admit, even the most hardcore anti-school thugs did at least mediocre in her class. She succeeded at what teaching should be all about, piquing the intellect. Name dropping a cool game during class would be her style. Like you guys pointed out, now we just have to make some really cool games.

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    KingofMadCowsKingofMadCows Registered User regular
    There are three important aspects of games that need to be integrated into education, immediate feedback, continuous tracking of progress, and an emphasis on rewarding success rather than punishing failure.

    Immediate feedback allows for quick error correction so the student doesn't continue making the same mistake over and over again. For example, if a kid is doing their English homework and makes a grammatical mistake, if you don't catch it immediately, they can make that mistake over and over again in their homework and waste a lot of time basically practicing making the mistake. It also ensures that the student learns any prerequisite skills before moving on.

    Continuous tracking of progress ensures that both the student and teacher knows where they're slowing down and having trouble so that the instruction can be adjusted to correct the problem. In fact, it has been shown that even kids in elementary schools can learn to read semi-logarithmic graphs that chart their academic progress.

    Having an emphasis on rewarding success rather than punishing failure eliminates the potential for learned helplessness where people basically just give up after failing too many times. In fact, with the right shaping strategies and reinforcement schedules where you gradually reward higher and higher levels of effort and persistence, you can teach learned industriousness where people become highly resistant to being discouraged.

    Instructional strategies that have empirically been shown to be effective, like Direct Instruction, Personalized System of Instructions, Programmed Instruction, etc., have those elements.

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    ReaverKingReaverKing Registered User regular
    As somebody who spent a few years in college being educated on being an educator, I know a thing or two about this subject.

    The ideal situation would be for students and teachers to learn organically with the yearly curriculum as nothing more than a series of guideposts along the way. Games, when applied in a useful and appropriate fashion make an excellent tool for the modern educator.

    There's just one problem:


    Parents


    Schools have run almost exactly the same way for about eighty years now. There's far more resistance to change OUTSIDE education than from inside.

    You know how some people are just hardwired to think their car has stalled unless they can see or hear the engine running or, even worse, that squealing noise from the starter as they try to start an already started engine?

    No? Well, there are.

    And with education its even worse.

    At least the past three generations have been trained from early childhood to only care about the answer to one question: "Will this be on the test?" Without some letter grade, number or other result they can point to and say "hey, my kid's learning", the majority of parents immediately assume that there is no learning going on at all.

    That's part of the reason why the prevailing opinion about educational games can be summed up as "Kids like games, so just turn this worksheet into a game and kids will like it better". And to a degree that's true.

    Which is just another part of the problem. Any success within the paradigm just reinforces the paradigm against change, regardless of how positive it could be.

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    zsewqthewolfzsewqthewolf Registered User new member
    The school system today are up to date because of how the people are working there, one time a teacher got fired because he was mean to the student. When someone is nice and kind and you can talk to them like a everyday person the student learns more than not, plus we need school for our kid and our one to go and socialise with people

    Right now theres online school for kids to take at 1st grade 0_o that right there is a bad idea not only you have a group of people not meeting people but now they become shy all the time and not know how to talk to people at all, they be inside all the time mind you is ten times worse.

    like the old saying my friends and their family say to me " you need the old and the new to make something wonderful for everyone to enjoy, many people want a black and white world but in reality it's many kinds of grey "

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    ambienceneverambiencenever Registered User new member
    The underlying problem with our current education "system" is just that, it is a system. Only parents have their children's best interests at heart, and control over our school policies is remote and...failing. Well, maybe it's failing. Maybe it's doing exactly what it was always intended to do.

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    SkyWolfAlphaSkyWolfAlpha Registered User regular
    I have a feeling that once we add games in, someone out there who hasn't even peeked into the window of our world as gamers, is going to start a shitfest of how "children are now spending all their time -playing- at school!" and "your tax dollars - wasted on games!". If play is the natural way we learn, at what point did we as a society decide that if you're having fun, then you CAN'T be learning? We really need a shift in mindset away from this. Or at least be prepared to fight that fight, because I know I'll happen.

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    GuturGutur Registered User new member
    @kalmondo: Sounds like it on first glance but not quite. Rosetta, while much more fun and advanced, is still basically a vocab quiz (I like to use it occasionally). Have you had a look at the study? I know it's dry, let me see, this article over at wired summarizes quite nicely http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2012/10/know-it-all-kickstarter/
    Game first, lessons maybe. The game can be played without having to memorize one vocab, it's still fun and makes sense without sound at all.
    It's highly experimental, but the game is a neat game on it's own merit.

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    maximaramaximara Registered User regular
    Anyone who has watched James Burke's Connections 3 series (Pinball Effect is the companion book) knows that US education has returned to a model that was abandoned over 200 years ago. In 1801 Johnann Heinrick Pestalozzi pointed to the overemphasis on book learning and too little real world experience and so inverted the way children were taught. Textbooks were out and direct experience was in.

    The problem is the classroom in the US has become a political, philosophical, and theological battle ground with what ever hot theory to "improve" learning being tried out seemingly on a monthly basis. The question of WHY kids are not learning seemingly is never researched though there is no shortage of theories on how to "fix" the problem.

    The Leave No Child Behind act just made things worst as it encouraged teachers to teach to the test rather than teach the child with predictable disastrous results (cheating, tampering of tests, and badly designed tests). It is hard to see games having any chance in such an environment.

    Nevermind you have the issue I saw as a sub teacher in the 1990s where the "games" schools had were poorly designed "educational" games that were little more than 'monkey press button and if monkey guess right monkey get banana' (yes many of them were THAT bad). The sad thing there were better educational games but instead of those the kids got games that if they didn't bore the kid to tears they would frustrate them.

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    Sensei Le RoofSensei Le Roof Registered User regular
    Confusing "its" and "it's" in the exit message of a video about education? Tsk, tsk.

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    Odo-in-the-bucketOdo-in-the-bucket Registered User new member
    This is something I've been struggling with in my own teaching career and research into the psychology of language learning.

    There is a concept popularized by Stephen Krashen called the "affective filter", which is the idea that there is a barrier inside learners' heads that separates information they are exposed to from information that is internalized and retained. Krashen's claims were that making the student anxious, uncomfortable, bored, or insecure raised the affective filter, though he provided very little experimental evidence to back up his claims.

    Most of the language learning field to some degree buys into the idea of an affective filter, at least to the degree that if we make our students uncomfortable, their learning will not be as efficient. But most of the research on this subject seems to be only one-way, essentially asking, "How can we make learning less bad?" We know from neurology that the affective filter does not work one-way. Our brains also have a function you might think of as an "affective suction", when we like something, are invested in it, then we pull in information about it much more readily. But I have so much trouble finding any substantive research in the influence of positive affect on learning, possibly because it's something that's just so hard to objectively measure.

    I think what you guys are seeing when educators talk about games is exactly the same thing that's driving my frustration with research. Educators are very eager to make classrooms "less bad", because we can to some degree measure things that are bad through at least opinion surveys. That's why educators want to just assign games- if a game is better than a lecture, surely playing the game is less bad. But while everyone likes the idea of making learning engaging (not just "less bad", but "good!"), no one seems to have a clear idea of how to make it happen. It honestly seems to be a secret that good teachers learn but don't know how to add to the dialogue because we don't have a framework within which to have the discussion.

    I hope you guys can bridge the gap with respect to games in education, because that will make my attempts to bridge the gap in my classes in general less frustrating.

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    BHKoga127BHKoga127 Registered User new member
    I know it isn't particularly game related but I'm currently working towards my Montessori Certification as an elementary teacher and almost ALL of what you've said in this goes along with what the Montessori schools have been doing for over 100 years now. The idea of the child engaging because they WANT to learn and having the choice, rather than "at this time you learn X" in a lecture setting, matches perfectly. I hope I can even inspire one person to take a look more into Montessori and how it works if anything in this video sounds like a positive to you. Meanwhile I hope I can use these concepts to perhaps work in some games into my own classroom to even further bridge the two worlds together!

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    jovialbardjovialbard Registered User regular
    @BHKoga127
    Yep, that was my point too. Definitely check out Montessori. It's a shame she never got around to taking as close a look at secondary and higher education as she did with primary and early education. There are a few higher level Montessori schools out there, I know, but not many. One of my life ambitions is to open a school of my own using her thoughts and modern technology as a foundation, and take that school all the way up to secondary and higher levels.

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    PossiblyMontyPossiblyMonty Registered User new member
    You know, as much as I hate to say it, edu-game designers could learn a lot from My Little Pony. The fictional education system teaches children the basics of money and culture then gives them freedom to find that one special thing that they have a talent for. If we had a system like that, where we put the focus on helping the student perform self-discovery, I don't think you could stop kids from learning if you tried.

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    ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor changed Registered User regular
    When I was a lad we had to blast maths all day for two cents an hour, and when we got home all we had for supper was a bowl of cold numbers to munch on.

    And we liked it!
    darkhog wrote: »
    Yeah, because we ALL know Edutainment games are SOOOO fun. So fun that they make sleeping easier than class with most boring teacher ever, of course.

    To this point I have nightmares about Mario's Time Machine and certain edutainment games for NES (unrelated to Mario).

    I don't know what that is, and I didn't have an NES, but Logo, Rocky's Boots, Gertrude's Secrets: These were good fucking games. I was swimming in quality Edutainment in the 80s; I have to assume that the NES just wasn't the target market for the companies who knew what was what.

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    NephanorNephanor Registered User regular
    I am sure James has probably seen this, but if he hasn't, it is a good little video about what is wrong with the educational system, and how it can be changed to make it better. Utilizing the ideas presented in this video would actually help, since the very idea presented works WONDERS with games. Take a look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U

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    ZugaiZugai Registered User new member
    The lack of motivation/motivating goals is only one problem in educational games.
    going back to an older episode, many games lack the difference in kind. It's eitehr biology, or geography or maths or chemistry. Even though so many things could be combined.
    As example: You're matching plants and habitats (biology + geography), then you get some info on the habitats and side info like "Sand is mostly made of SiO" (Chemistry) A puzzle might need you to calculate the weight of a 10x10x10cm box full with Sand (Physics). You only need an open world, lots of info to find (not in a seperate pdf or book) and of course something that drives them to explore.
    Besides that of course they should match the difficulty with what you would expect your target group can understand/work with, if it's presented a problem. The 3 games I played (focusing on Biology, Chemistry and Physics) were even more difficult than what I learnt in school at that time, so just to beat the game I had to "cheat" by using the included walkthrough.

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    hazardousindexhazardousindex Registered User regular
    Whenever education is brought up, I always see a lot of doomsaying and crying foul of the education system. I love Ken Robinson's TED talk as much as the next person, but the problem with rhetoric like this is that while it is insightful, it is not actually helpful to current teachers or students. These kinds of flaws in education stem from flaws in society, and they are going to take many years and huge changes fro the status quo to enact. Frankly, I just don't see it happening in my lifetime. I am a teacher, and I've been in the trenches for five years, and I am beginning to tire of this kind of discussion about education because it is ultimately not constructive.

    When we talk about improving education, we need to talk about what is actionable now. What can we do right now that is going to benefit students and improve their experience? To this end, I think the discussion about games in education is great, but it needs to remain positive. If we only ever come to the conclusion that nothing can be done because "the system is so flawed" then we are contributing nothing at all. Kids can learn in the current system. Maybe not perfectly or optimally or to each one's full potential, but they can learn- I see it everyday. Now how can games help them to learn better?

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    UncannyGarlicUncannyGarlic Registered User regular
    kalmondo wrote: »
    Learning is fun because of the feeling of reward we get when we a achieve something. Not because of the learning.
    The best reward in many great games is the next challenge. The game is fun because the challenge is difficult enough in a fair and solvable manner, not because you get a nuke when you beat it. Take Myst for example, it was an extremely popular adventure game even with non-gamers and it's rewards were more puzzles and/or clues to the final puzzle.
    kalmondo wrote: »
    Forced learning, as is going on is schools these days, is not doing anyone any good. As soon as you force anything, humans naturally resist. Fact.
    Which is why no one can read. Wait, what? Forced learning, such as teaching a child to read, is not inherently ineffective, it's the methods which are either effective or not. Calling it forced learning is also biasing the discussion by biasing the language and it sounds very different when you call it structured learning.

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    AvoanAvoan Registered User regular
    Imagine living a life where you seek such opportunities despite of how your education system works and wants you to work and thing.

    Whole life as a "wierdo". And I regret nothing.

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