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.
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.
Studies of mindfulness programs in schools have found that regular practice — even just a few minutes per day — improves student self-control and increases their classroom participation, respect for others, happiness, optimism, and self-acceptance levels.
Mindfulness has the potential to be a very useful component because of its effectiveness in reducing emotional distress and promoting emotional balance, improving attention, and contributing to motivated learning. This book excerpt digs in.
Disruptive students can be a big challenge for teachers in charge of a room full of 30 students. There isn’t always time to get to the bottom of student behavior and in a large class those students can derail learning for everyone. But what if there was a way to help kids stop acting out … Continue reading How Do You Teach Empathy? Harvard Pilots Game Simulation →
Scientists are always uncovering new ways into how people learn best, and some of the most recent neuroscience research has shown connections between basic survival functions, social and emotional reactions to the world, and creative impulses. Students’ social and emotional reactions to learning are imperative to feeling motivated to learn and to their ability to … Continue reading How Emotional Connections Can Trigger Creativity and Learning →
Flirck:WoodleyWonderworks Every educator wants to create an environment that will foster students’ love of learning. Because the criteria are intangible, it’s difficult to define or pinpoint exactly what they are. But one group is giving it a try. Researchers at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) launched the Innovative Learning Environments project to … Continue reading 7 Essential Principles of Innovative Learning →
Educators are aware that social problems like poverty, unsafe neighborhoods, violence, and family trauma can affect how students learn when they come to school. Though teaching subjects like math and literacy are the biggest part of their job, in many cases they’re also called on to attend to their students’ emotional health as well, incorporating … Continue reading Empathy: the Key to Social and Emotional Learning →
By Matt Levinson For parents, the pre-teen and teenage years can be overwhelming, disorienting and puzzling. Students encounter the tangled web of changing hormones, shifting social dynamics, entrée into social media, the desire for greater independence as well as the need for emotional safety. Many parents can feel at a loss as to how to … Continue reading How Parents and Schools Can Help Build Kids’ Emotional Strength →
By Katrina Schwartz More schools are working to change school culture through programs aimed at improving the social and emotional skills of students. The lessons directly teach young people how to interact with one another in positive ways, deal with anger, and solve problems, and new studies show they improve academic performance, too. As more … Continue reading Teaching Social and Emotional Skills in Schools →