Gaming in education

“With games you are allowed multiple opportunities to fail.”

“Trying is what helps us learn”

“We shouldn’t assess students based on a single shot that they have because in the real world there is feedback and extended opportunities.”

Watching the Ted Ed video about Gamification in Education really got me thinking about games and their place in the classroom.

Games have never been a part of MY reality.  I make an effort with my 10 year old nephew as he explains the rules of Minecraft or COD.  I look like a large ape as I clumsily will my plausible thumbs to work and bang on the controls 2 seconds too late only to grunt as I fall to my death.  Games are not as much a part of my generation as they are my current students.

My first initial response to gaming is a negative one – I am really not sure where it comes from, but that is the gut reaction.  After hearing from Jane McConigal in the video above, it really challenged me to step back and make a list of pros and cons.

Gaming in Education

Pros                                                                                                         Cons

allows multiple chances                                     lack of human engagement = social problems

encourages problem solving                     encourages leaving reality; entering virtual world

engages the audience                                                                     can cause addictive behavior

students are familiar with the medium

I have always been a fan of lists and the PROS/CONS has been something I have done in multiple situations.  I am still unsure of where I stand with gaming in my Literature classroom, but I cannot ignore the PRO column as an educator.

The wheels are turning!


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One Response to Gaming in education

  1. Profile photo of Jeff Utecht Jeff Utecht says:

    I like gamification with a “Mastery Learning” approach. Think Angry Birds. you don’t have to get 3 stars each level…you just have to get kill the pigs…that’s how we know you mastered the level. The points you scored become secondary.

    This works well in a standards based curriculum because once you have met the standard you can move on. We allow kids to retake a test as long as it takes to master the concept. Funny how much of our educational system is still built on one test pass/fail rather than a system of try until you pass and we’ll support you along the way. That’s really what the standards based approach is suppose to be about.


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