TEDtalk by Matthew Peterson on visual learning through games
Anyone who has ever taken a class to an IT room knows the disruption and difficulties that it can cause, by the time you move the class to the room, get them on computers and have got them settled in the new environment, you’ve lost 15 minutes. Then it can take another 10 minutes to get the computers turned on and the pupils logged in, as they are so slow then you spend the rest so the time walking around the class getting the children off of games, Facebook, Twitter etc and focused on what they are meant to be doing. They only end up with 20 minutes of actual work which can be very frustrating.
I agree that there needs to be different ways to teach that might not suit a minority, however they can be difficult to create and implement. Also as a teacher you are not rewarded for being creative or using wide differentiation because if you teach the same way as everyone else and it fails everyone blames the children but if you do something different and it doesn’t work you get blamed so there is no incentive to be or to try to be different.
On the other hand students need to be able to have the ability to receive and understand information that is presented to them both verbally and visually. They need to be able to process these types of information efficiently as this is how they will receive most of their tasks, improvement and support in the working world. And it is just as important in my opinion to get them ready for the real world as to teach them about your subject.
Article by James Gee on video games and learning.
What was said struck a few cords with me. One point related to the joy of gaming, the changes, fun and different approaches required by different games to achieve your goal. I also like the comment of the riskier approaches of gaming. You are encouraged to take risks as there is little to no penalty for failure so people do not worry about it in the same way, whereas from what I have found in class students are sacred of failure, in some cases almost crippled by it. They would rather not try or say I don’t know than try and then get it wrong. No matter how many times you tell them that you learn very well by making mistakes and improving on them, or that everyone makes mistakes, they stay tuned out buy this worry. If this issue could be resolved it would make teaching much easier.
The darker side to gaming is addiction, there are many stories of people never leaving their room, losing their people skills and “real world friends” for their online counter parts, wearing nappies so they don’t have to take toilet breaks and lose precious minutes gaming, focusing on gaming and failing at school or getting fired from their jobs and even on the extreme cases death see some example below.
“Studies estimate that 10 percent to 15 percent of gamers exhibit signs that meet the World Health Organization’s criteria for addiction. Just like gambling and other compulsive behaviours, teens can become so enthralled in the fantasy world of gaming that they neglect their family, friends, work, and school.” Taken from http://www.video-game-addiction.org/
“In 2007, it was reported that Mr. Zhang died in Jinzhou after playing online games persistently during the week-long Lunar New Year holiday as a result of a heart attack, brought on by a lack of physical activity. During the same year, reports indicated that a 30-year-old man died in Guangzhou after playing video games continuously for three days”