A Neurologist Makes the Case for the Video Game Model as a Learning Tool | Edutopia

7 Nov

A Neurologist Makes the Case for the Video Game Model as a Learning Tool | Edutopia.

Wow! Click the link above.

This article completely blows me away.  Judy Willis, a neurologist turned educator, explains why video games are so enticing to children and how that enticement relates to the learning process.  This is truly a must read.  I’ve removed a portion below to show how she makes this correlation.

…”What we can do is be aware of the reason the brain is so responsive to video game play and keep achievable challenge and incremental progress feedback in mind when planning units of instruction. One way to help each student sustain motivation and effort is to shift progress recognition to students themselves. This can be done by having students use a variety of methods of recording their own progress toward individualized goals. Through brief conferences, goals can be mutually agreed upon, such as number of pages read a week (with comprehension accountability), progression to the next level of the multiplication tables, or achievement of a higher level on a rubric for writing an essay. Free bar graphs downloaded from the Internet can be filled in by students as they record and see evidence of their incremental goal progress. In contrast to the system of recognition delayed until a final product is completed, graphing reveals the incremental progress evidence throughout the learning process. I’ve found that for students who have lost confidence to the point of not wanting to risk more failure, it is helpful to start the effort-to-progress record keeping and graphing with something they enjoy, such as shooting foul shots or computer keyboarding speed and accuracy.”…

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Responses to “A Neurologist Makes the Case for the Video Game Model as a Learning Tool | Edutopia”

  1. Matt Woodrow November 13, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    Interesting article Drew. I have a feeling that immersive and 3D technologies are going to provide many learning platforms for students in the future. Many universities and technical schools are already offering immersive learning environment for students. There is a huge cost savings since these experiences can happen in “virtual” environments. Here’s an interesting video:

  2. Maryann November 8, 2011 at 5:01 am #

    Goal setting is a life long skill- We do it with weight loss, running ( marathon training) and saving $ etc- Now that the new CCSS are clearly defined, setting goals for personalized learning will be improved. Not a fan of “gaming”.

    • J. Andrew Bairstow November 8, 2011 at 6:44 am #

      Thanks for chiming in, Maryann. I think there is a lot to be said for goal setting. I like how you made the connection to our lives, too, with weight loss, saving money, etc. it just. Ames sense, right? Gaming, though, gets a bad rap. It is too easy to think of the “single shooter” games or the graphically inappropriate games and lamp them all into the same category.

      The. Ottom line is that children like gaming for all of the reasons mentioned in the article, because they are reinforced by their brains. We as educators can now tap into this knowledge and engage them In their education in the same way. We have to!

  3. Karen Landsman November 7, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    PS. It would seem that Technology and the Arts may be essential ingredients in the differentiation and individualization of instruction.

  4. Karen Landsman November 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

    I’m so glad you posted this! Library Media Specialists have been looking at the “Gaming Model” for several years now to show that students must be inherently invested (intrinsically motivated) to work toward a specific goal. Despite what seems to make sense, children don’t need external rewards for progress, but they DO want to be able to track their own progress, see growth and feel confident as they develop skills that will bring them to the next level. Don’t we all?

    I was particularly struck by this sentence: “…the levels of mastery are rarely the same for every student in the class. This is when we need to provide opportunities for differentiating and individualizing.” If we don’t provide each and every student with a challenge to move from WHERE THEY ARE to WHERE THEY CAN BE, then we (and they) are destined to fail. The cookie-cutter approach simply doesn’t work for human beings.

    How exciting to be encouraged to use the Art of Teaching to help our students achieve personal/academic success!

    • Mary Lou Donahoe November 7, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

      Video like games are terrific. Last year I discovered a math site with some math video games and the students seem to respond well to “moving to the next level.” Keeping and wanting to improve their scores. Hoewrr simple it is all about meeting students at their level. In the ESOL world we call it “comprehensible input” a termed coined by Stephen Krashen. This means we need to meet, particularly ESOL students, at their language level. Not because a skills worksheet is required that student will learn from it. The question always is: Is it meaningful? However, he/she needs to perform at grade level, how to accomplish that? What is the purpose for the skills worksheet is this student going to learn if so how? By differentiating the instruction and modifying the worksheets done in the classroom via perhaps technology the student may be able to feel more successful. In doing so then tha As karen very well said above: It is important to move away from the “cookie cutter” education. If you can understand what your tasks are you are more willing to perform. I really liked this and I am quoting from the above: “I’ve found that for students who have lost confidence to the point of not wanting to risk more failure, it is helpful to start the effort-to-progress record keeping and graphing with something they enjoy, such as shooting foul shots or computer keyboarding speed and accuracy.”…The math games I found do not record their accomplishments but there are many sites that do. Students are do used to games today it is all about the “instant gratification” and if that motivates them to “go on” more power to that lesson and the games!!! I am game!!!! (Pun intended :-))

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Insight into Educational App Production « Fred C. Underhill School: Principal's Blog - May 23, 2012

    […] Read below to gain some insight into how educational games are produced (link to article).  It provides valuable information on how some of the more “addictive” games are designed to intrigue the brains of our young learners.  Judy Willis, teacher turned neurologist, speaks of this type of brain research in this video. […]

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