More teachers are using digital games in the classroom, and they're using them more frequently, according to a new teacher survey just released by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center. But more surprisingly, the study reveals that teachers are finding that one of the most impactful use of games is for motivating and rewarding students, specifically those who are low-performing.
Game making is one way to create a space where students are empowered to freely experiment with their own way of framing ideas and choosing perspectives. In this way, game making is tantamount to project-based learning.
Contrary to the popular image of the gamer as an awkward, socially inept loner, players are actually engaged with one another. Gamers play cooperatively. They play competitively. They share tips and tricks. They work together. The teach each other how to get better at the game.
In the classroom, fiero -- excitement that gamers experience when they overcome challenges -- makes students see that they're empowered players in their own education. They're released into the exciting adventure that learning can be. Without the intrinsic motivating power of fiero, however, gamification becomes nothing more than semantic spin: a language game in which a letter-based grade system is replaced by a points-based reward system. In these cases, gamification does little to address the shortcomings of a system that relies on high-stakes testing.
Play is nothing if not social. Games organize play, allowing us to wrangle it and use it to experiment with the world. When we play games, more often than not, it's us under the microscope. But there's a trend in design toward video games that build social skills and encourage players to reflect on themselves and their relationships. Here are a few games that do just that.
Web-based games can prove to be a treasure trove of learning opportunities, and there are a variety of content-areas, age ranges, and skill levels to choose from. The true pay dirt for browser-based learning games can be found on large online digital game hubs. Here are 10 game hubs players that teachers can use to as one tool in their arsenal.
Teachers all over America are faced with this challenge of keeping students engaged in the classroom when their world outside of school is one of constant engagement and stimulation. Knowing the world outside of our institutional walls is only one step in addressing modern learning styles. How to act and adjust schools today is the next step in making the classroom of today ready for tomorrow.
It's estimated that only about 10 percent of K-12 schools teach computer science. Some companies are trying to fill a void in American public education by teaching kids computer programming basics. The push comes amid projections that there will be far more tech sector jobs than computer science graduates to fill them.
As schools refocus on team-based, interdisciplinary learning, they're moving away from standardized, teach-to-test programs that assume a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching. Instead, there is a growing awareness that students learn in a variety of ways, and the differences should be supported. With that in mind, here's how one architecture firm is redesigning learning spaces.
As game developers look at a complicated education marketplace studded with persistent challenges, a few guidelines have begun to emerge to help make it easier for teachers to use and see value in educational games.
Non-profit video game developer GlassLab is working with teachers and students to improve its new educational game, SimCityEDU. The game asks players to accomplish environmental science missions that are based on the Common Core State Standards and assesses student learning during play.