The Innovate Gateway, August/September 2005, Volume 1, Issue 6

This Aug/Sep 05 issue of Innovate focuses on the role of video game technology in current and future educational settings. I’m sure Darren will find it useful. Blog it first 😉
Articles within:
What Would a State of the Art Instructional Video Game Look Like?
by J. P. Gee
Epistemic Games by David Williamson Shaffer
What Can K-12 School Leaders Learn from Video Games and Gaming? by Richard Halverson
simSchool: The Game of Teaching by Melanie Zibit and David Gibson
Changing the Game: What Happens When Video Games Enter the Classroom? by Kurt Squire
Game-Informed Learning: Applying Computer Game Processes to Higher Education by Michael Begg, David Dewhurst, and Hamish Macleod

The Design of Advanced Learning Engines: An Interview with Clark Aldrich
by Joel Foreman and Clark Aldrich

Places to Go: Apolyton
by Stephen Downes

Pros and Cons of Video Games

Found this list that is good for consideration when we are looking at (video) games for education:

The Pros:
– highly motivating, it’s fun (fun is very important – we don’t underestimate it!)
– encourages risk taking and trial and error
– self-paced
– young-age friendly…young kids can begin to work with complex situations or ideas
– encourages analysis and looking for mistakes
– can incorporate or train different learning strategies- though at present visual-heavy (pictures, images, text)
– can hint without telling
– can be very patient
– solve by ideas, not strength or size (great for young gifted kids or 2E’s)
– encourages perspective changing
– encourages some problem solving (though not as much as we’d like for K-12)
– allows incremental learning, close monitoring of improvement or training
– allows precisely targeted sensory / perceptual learning (auditory / visual processing)
The Cons:
– it’s not real- may impact on how the information is generalized, taken seriously
– the process is immersive and usually fairly fast-paced (may not be as conducive to reflection compared to other learning formats such as reading)
– doesn’t encourage as much critique about the information as maybe reading original documents, magazine, or book…after all, it’s just a game
– game play doesn’t directly examine reality
– players are directed to the programmer’s teaching points or conclusions- whereas direct inspection of real experiments or phenomena may provide more individual learning points or conclusions.
– the games could be administered poorly…teacher leaves students to computer terminals, student doesn’t learn anything, copies from neighbor, etc. (this can happen in labs too, of course)
– games are interactive, but not as interactive as conversation with a smart and perceptive teacher (remember the Turing test?)…some programs are completed by kids clicking a lot or cheating
– not hands-on learning (click or toggle rather than working with original materials)…miss making projects by hands, spatial learning and modeling

[source: Eide Neurolearning Blog]