Everyone seems to have an opinion about teacher’s role in the classroom of the future. Some claim that teachers should get out of the way and let kids simply have unfettered access to the internet. Others imagine a classroom in which teachers curate the vast world of information that is available and facilitate students’ understanding. Certainly, there is more to learn in any subject than any one person could be an expert in. How can we take the best advantage of technology in the classroom?
Please share your comments below! I am preparing a blog post addressing the role of teachers in the future, and I would appreciate your thoughts and any resources!
A friend of mine just referred me to a great blog on education, training and learning technology… by Richard N. Landers, Ph.D. Dr. Landers is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, USA. The blog is called Thoughts of a Neo-Academic. Richard wrote a series of blogs in September 2010 about a series of research papers published in Journal of General Psychology that are focused on video games.
Today’s post is about how we might create more engaging video games. This paper is the subject of the post: Rodrigo, M. (2010). Dynamics of student cognitive-affective transitions during a mathematics game. Simulation & Gaming, 42 (1), 85-99. doi: 10.1177/1046878110361513.
Dr. Rodrigo observed 7th grade boys while they played an math game. She and her colleagues paired up to take note of the cognitive affect states of the students as they played the math game, Math Blaster. The team assessed how the students’ states changed while they played the game. The states the team defined and noted were
7. The Neutral state (No affect discernible)
She noted that students often transitioned from confused to engaged. She noted that boredom was the only state that persisted. My post here is just a quick one, and if you want more details, please read Dr. Lander’s post for a nicer description. What I would like to point out is that confusion is not a bad thing…. confusion may draw us in. Confusion, I think, is a necessary step to learning anything. This research is unique and powerful, I believe. If you know of more, please let me know.
Rodrigo, M. (2010). Dynamics of student cognitive-affective transitions during a mathematics game. Simulation & Gaming, 42 (1), 85-99. doi: 10.1177/1046878110361513. You can download the paper here.
Wonder whether your students will like Immune Attack? Wonder whether it is game enough to hold their attention? Well watch this video.
And oh, if you work for a AAA video game company you can reach me by email!
Thank you to Debbie Kovesdy, her students and the biology teachers who participated in our evaluation. If YOU would like your students to participate in our evaluation, please let me know! We need more students to strengthen our data… We have significant gains in LEARNING and CONFIDENCE. Be a part of a revolution in learning and in gaming!
If you’re interested in the subject I found a great paper from 2005 about Learning Games.
The Academic Advanced Distributed Learning Co-Lab members David Williamson Shaffer, Richard Halverson, Kurt R. Squire, and James P. Gee wrote an amazing paper about how video games may be the future of learning. They discuss how video games can teach us so much more than how to use a gun. They discuss how video games can teach a 14 year old politics, a normal person complex modeling, and help kids with cancer take better care of themselves. To find the paper use this link and scroll down to Joint Papers and find the working paper titled “Before every child is left behind: How epistemic games can solve the coming crisis in education.”
Don’t forget the FAS National Summit on Educational Games Report. The summit brought together more than one hundred experts to examine how to harness the power of video games for learning. This report is widely cited and contains a collection of the reasons in favor of using games and simulations in education as well the issues that need to be addressed if industry and education are to be able to collaborate on learning games.
Amy Maxmen wrote an article about Immune Attack for Cell! Maxmen keeps you up to date about the push from the President and First Lady to make sure we are using video games and all learning technology to their fullest potential. And then Maxmen summaries what scientists think of video game about science and then what DATA there is suggesting that they work!
The data that is quoted in this article will be published this fall semester. We are in the final round of evaluations this semester.
Paul thinks that video games that require us to be more active might help us actually become more active. People exercise more when they can do something fun for exercise, he writes. Paul suggests that if we rated video games for how active they made us, that the game companies would have a motivation to make their games meet higher standards.
Video games really do capture our attention. But can they really provide effective exercise? Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) did… maybe a starship that you control with the DDR pad could be another fun game… if it isn’t already out there.
The Wii, and now Sony and Microsoft have motion sensing controllers that are making exercise games more popular and potentially more powerful than ever before.