Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Video Games in Education

I plan on doing some research soon about the possibility of using video games in education.Video games, once criticized as a waste of time for kids, are becoming increasingly popular among teachers in such subject areas as physical education, social studies and history. *Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/02/20/CLASSROOM.TMP#ixzz0razlcl00
As I said in a previous entry, video games helped develop my spatial recognition of shapes and patterns, therefore I feel it catered to improving my mathematics achievement. There is the obvious lack of direct proof of this, but I feel I know the way my brain works well enough to make that presumption.
Mauricio Buchler had written to me on the subject stating:
I teach ESL, and I find that RPG-style games (from Zelda, and Fable to GTA) help learning, but they're really extra practice. I mean, the amount of English learning compared to the amount of carnage isn't really proportional, so I usually just encourage my students to play them at home.
Strategy games such as Sims, Civilization, Age of Empires, etc. are better for the classroom because I can hook the PS/Box up to the projector, and we can discuss the strategy as a group, and write about the outcomes, focusing on whatever grammar topic I'm teaching that week.
So, the strategy ones work well, but still, they aren't really about teaching school subjects. We just use them to decorate the process.
With that in mind, I developed a prototype of an RPG that teaches ESL specifically, which I talk about in my TEDx talk.
Skeptical of integrating video games into your classroom? Well, read my previous entry, give me some comments and let me know what you think of this topic. I hope to conduct some research, so those for or against this, please provide some links to whether or not you believe this is a substantial cause.


  1. I am a big fan of using games for helping students to engage in their learning and to help them to prepare for exams, develop their vocabulary, etc. They also offer the opportunity for teachers to reduce their marking which can be really useful at busy times.
    My favourite resource is www.what2learn.com which has thousands of ready-made games, the ability to quickly and easily create your own, great in-built rewards to keep children learning, and easy reports for teachers to show student progress. It is free and well worth checking out.

  2. John,

    I think you might benefit from reading my blog: www.reinventedsolutions.com

    You'll find we're on the same page.

    Al Meyers