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Games in Education – A k-12 online presentation

February 3, 2009

In my ECMP 355 class last week we were asked to go to the k-12 online conference website, watch a video from 2008 and then respond to what we had watched. I choose to watch a session about Games in Education by Sylvia Martinez. (found at the link below)

Games in Education

This video caught my attention early on throwing out ideas like “play is a child’s work” and that it is actually a major component when it comes to brain development. The session points out that these are not exactly new ideas but ideas that we seem to not really pay attention too in schools as we are often discouraging play in favor of “education“.

Another idea that caught my attention was the value of games that are designed to be educational. The presenter herself has been involved in the process of designing educational games, but still believes that 99% of these games are actually useless when it comes to educating our students.  She points out that many of the “educational games” that we use in the classroom actually function more like worksheets. I had never thought of it like that, but once I stepped back at looked at these games I realized that she was right, and that most of these games are glorified worksheets. Here I thought technology was helping me find new ways to engage students when really I was having them do the same old activities but in a shiny new paperless way. This video really made me realize that I need to do a lot more than have my students play games that drill and practice certain skills to be using technology effectively. One way to do this that stuck out in my mind was through the use of games that require your students to think, and then afterward reflecting in groups or as a whole on the experience, no more multiple choice games for me. I do still see the value in some of these educational games though because they often can work to engage some of those students who are just not finding the material very exciting at first. however I think that when they are used for too long, that is when they start losing their value to the student. The student can become disengaged and just mindlessly finish the task at hand without much care or thought because they have already answered 20 similair questions. I could go on about the ideas shared in the video but i think what was really important for me at the end was that it really got me evaluating how can I use technology in the classroom to the best of it abilities? I want to make sure that I am not simplying having my students on a computer playing a educational game for the sake of doing it and so that I can say I am incorporating technology into my classroom. I want to be able to take my students beyond that level and get them and myself thinking in new ways about both the subject at hand and how we can use technology to enhance our learning and understanding of it.

Below are a couple of the sites that I visited after watching the video that I found both fun and interesting to spend some time at:


http://linerider.com/play-line-rider-online

http://www.phunland.com/wiki/Download

http://www.seriousgames.org/index.html


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3 comments

  1. I’m going to ask Sylvia to speak to us about games in education in March.


  2. Wow, Jen, I’m so impressed by all that you were able to take away from the presentation. It was really condensed, but you managed to get EVERYTHING I was trying to say about edutainment games and apply it to your own classroom experience.

    I’m looking forward to having a conversation with you and your classmates in March!


  3. […] have been introduced to so many great educators from around the world we were are now able to make contact with. I have created a twitter account and while I don’t send out that many tweets myself yet. I do […]



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