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Playing Tag or Digital Games? Why Not Both?

Where the Educational Game Industry Went Wrong The spotlight has been shining on media and gaming in the education innovation scene in recent years. And while many tout the virtues of what games and media can teach kids, we know it’s just as important to give kids enough time to play outside. In this essay, … Continue reading Playing Tag or Digital Games? Why Not Both? →

Legos for the Digital Age: Students Build Imaginary Worlds

A confession: I am a long-time fan of video games, and as such, I’d say I have pretty high expectations when it comes to gameplay, mechanics, and animation. The latter is particularly made me pretty skeptical that I’d enjoy Minecraft, a game that lets you build worlds out of blocks. A world built out of … Continue reading Legos for the Digital Age: Students Build Imaginary Worlds →

Five Amazing Games That Add a Third Dimension to Learning

We received lots of comments on 21 Things That Will Be Obsolete in 2020. To those who expressed doubt that any of those predictions will come to fruition, the writer Shelly Blake-Plock wrote an elegant response. But many more were intrigued by one commenter’s assertion that many of those items on the list are already … Continue reading Five Amazing Games That Add a Third Dimension to Learning →

Technology: Not a Silver Bullet, But Makes Learning Relevant

“I don’t believe that cyberlearning is the silver bullet to take over schools and make us better,” says Kenneth Eastwood, Superintendent of Middletown City School District in Ohio. “It is to make us more efficient and relevant to the process related to the learners of today, and once, I think, that everybody agrees upon that … Continue reading Technology: Not a Silver Bullet, But Makes Learning Relevant →

Virtual Worlds in the Hands of Student Scientists

Can video games really work as a learning tool? If so, what happens to the role of the teacher in this realm? Chris Dede and his colleagues at Harvard Graduate School of Education have been working on testing these theories and have come up with fascinating results. I spoke with Dede at the Cyberlearning Tools … Continue reading Virtual Worlds in the Hands of Student Scientists →

Can Video Games Help Close the Digital Divide?

Applying African-American boys’ passion for sports video games toward building confidence in a learning environment. This fascinating article by Liz Losh on Digital Media & Learning looks at how video games as learning motivator can be a completely different experience for different cultures. A recent report on educational achievement among young black males describes a … Continue reading Can Video Games Help Close the Digital Divide? →

Weekly News Roundup

The Sesame Workshop and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center released its study on children’s media usage. Among its findings, television is still popular, but children are engaging in a variety of other media platforms. Almost 25 percent of young children under age 5 use the Internet at least once a week, and just under half … Continue reading Weekly News Roundup →

Defining the Differences in Screen Time

Context is as important as content. Time, place and purpose matter. Pushing forward our discussion about the value of games and apps, David Kleeman wrote in response to the article: “Every screen has benefits and cautions, quality content and junk.” In this essay on the Huffington Post, Kleeman, who’s the president of the American Center … Continue reading Defining the Differences in Screen Time →

Screen Time For Kids: Is it Learning or a Brain Drain?

When it comes to video games and apps, what’s a parent to do? On one hand, we’re bombarded with messages about the perils of letting kids play with computer games and gadgets. On the other, we’re seduced by games and apps marketed to us as “educational.” It’s a tricky line to navigate. The spectrum of … Continue reading Screen Time For Kids: Is it Learning or a Brain Drain? →

Gaming and Learning: Canterbury Tales Meets World of Warcraft

It’s always gratifying to hear from students commenting on MindShift articles. The Huffington Post’s publishing of “Ten Surprising Truths About Video Games,” received a slew of responses. My two favorites: One who pointed to a video putting James Gee’s theories of gaming and learning to action by creating a movie made from World of Warcraft … Continue reading Gaming and Learning: Canterbury Tales Meets World of Warcraft →

Ten Surprising Truths about Video Games and Learning

“Your brain’s important, but not all that important,” said Dr. James Paul Gee, a professor at Arizona State University and a leading authority on literacy and the potential of educational games, during a talk at the Learning and Brain conference last week. By that he means the following: What we’d assumed about the importance of … Continue reading Ten Surprising Truths about Video Games and Learning →

How Technology Wires the Learning Brain

Kids between the ages of 8 and 18 spend 11.5 hours a day using technology — whether that’s computers, television, mobile phones, or video games – and usually more than one at a time. That’s a big chunk of their 15 or 16 waking hours. But does that spell doom for the next generation? Not … Continue reading How Technology Wires the Learning Brain →

Video Games as Learning Tools

I spent a fascinating day at the Learning and the Brain Conference in San Francisco yesterday, and learned a lot about cognitive functions, memory retention, the learning process, and much more. One of the highlights for me was hearing James Gee, faculty affiliate of the Games, Learning, and Society group at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, … Continue reading Video Games as Learning Tools →

Can Creating Computer Games Develop Reading and Writing Skills?

By Sara Bernard What should we teach kids about computers in 2011? Most already know how to use them. “The most interesting thing we can teach kids about computers is how to program them,” says Matthew MacLaurin, UX Director of Microsoft FUSE Labs and one of the originators of Kodu, a free, downloadable software that … Continue reading Can Creating Computer Games Develop Reading and Writing Skills? →

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