Gaming in Education

Hey guys/girls/other! I’m writing a paper for English class and was wondering what you thought about the subject.

Personally, I think using ‘simulations’ in education is the next logical step in teaching and learning, and I am still wondering when our school is going to adopt Minecraft into our suite of teaching tools.:eyebrowlift:

From what I know in some parts of the U.S. they are using games to teach young kids. Also if you havent seen the Khan Academy website you are missing. Personaly the site helped me a lot of my Calculus.

I too believe it is the next logical step but it might take some time. I dont think the teachers possition will be replaced on 100% though.

One problem I find is students, instead of focusing on the core item to be studied, get distracted into other irrelavant things. And media these days is overload to young healthy minds - directing to consumerisms.

I agree more with kbot. Simulations may be helpful from a teacher standpoint and perhaps games every once in a great while, but overall I don’t think it is the next step at all. It just seems that it will feed all that artificial ADD that happens these days because of general society.

I am still wondering when our school is going to adopt Minecraft into our suite of teaching tools.

I know this was a joke, but this is kind of the problem. While it may teach some things, I would argue that minecraft really doesn’t teach much at all compared to an actual class or prof.

I wasn’t really saying games in general, CoD wouldn’t teach you a lick of history if you played it in history (well, maybe a little bit), I was thinking more towards simulations designed for teaching. Like virtual field trips and the like.

I too believe it is the next logical step but it might take some time. I dont think the teachers possition will be replaced on 100% though.

I don’t think simulations would replace teachers, but I do believe that simulations will make certain aspects of teaching obsolete.
Rather than read about the Colosseum from some book, why not take a virtual tour?

In our world history class our teacher wants us to create medieval castles in Google Sketchup, but one of my friends convinced him to let the Minecraft players in the class build a castle in Minecraft instead. This is going to be a fun project :).

That’s what I’m talking about! Video games should be used with school!
Plus, I turned in that paper, so, fingers crossed I don’t fail!

Playing is indeed a very strong method of learning. That’s why people (especially kids) really like to play. They can figure out solutions by themselves without being hurt (to much) if it fails.

The problem with a large percentage of games is they teach how to run around with a deadly gun in front of your eyes and shoot at everything that you see. Beside that hunting and collecting is fun I wonder what this kind of games teaches the player ;).

Anyway there are also tries to provide a larger background story the player can discover. This feeds our curiosity and forces us to play the game. But they are more focused at “fictional stories” rather than real ones.

I’m not sure about “educational” games. I do not know one.

Just my opinion.

I consider Portal and Portal 2 to be educational games.
Sure, you have a gun, but the only thing you shoot at is the walls (and maybe the inside of the elevator :P).
It does a really good job of teaching problem-solving skills and “critical thinking”, and it’s super-fun!

And there are a few games lying upon the internet that are designed to teach math, history and english skills (it’s ironic that I spelt ‘English’ as ‘Englighs’).

I’m young enough to remember some of the first “educational games”; They were nothing more than standard textbooks, in digital form, laced with petty gimmicks like interactive graphs, and other equally uninteresting nonsense.

Very little has changed in that market.

The khan academy is a wonderful project, but I think it suffers from the same “textbook replicant” syndrome found in most educational games. The videos cover a couple of example problems, and then there’s a set of exercises that you have to complete, by doing exactly what Khan did in the video - the numbers are different, but it’s the same exact procedure, which doesn’t really require any deeper thought.

Some of this could be remedied by utilizing “word problems” - Actually, I would argue that every math problem should be a word problem, because that will develop more relevant skills, relating to analysis and formulation.

Although, the best approach would be “project based”: I teach you the basic concepts, and you complete a project that utilizes those concepts.

So, for example: I teach you how to calculate the intersection point between a line and a plane in 3D space, and you have to write a simulation where the player can shoot at “plane monsters”.

… Actually, now that I think about it, I should probably try to write some educational software, in addition to my video tutorials.

I planned an educational game: The BGE Inc. Which let you (the player) run parts of the BGE in a funny way. The idea is that it teaches how the BGE processes it’s logic simply by letting the player do the work ;).

That actually sounds pretty neat. I’d like to see something like that!

Excerpt from the design document:

The concept is great but lets get real. I read a while back that to produce one hour of high quality computer based education cost between $50,000 and $200,000. So while games might be a great idea, to make them relevant, effective and meaningful in a useful educational context is not so easy. I teach Java programming at tertiary level. I’d be interested to see a game that could help my students pass.

robocode! :wink:

But it is more an exercise rather than a teaching game.

Regarding the numbers, I guess that is the minimum of costs for a good game either.

(If you think of open source:
Working for free does not really count. Development costs are usually booked in time - less in money. Companies have to convert the time into money to stay in business. There are things that can be payed with time - think about the PC you are reading this with :D).

We’ve started using Minecraft recently in a project at the ‘Career Center’.
We drew a view of a city block and we’re building that block out on a server!

It had a rocky start of griefing and confusion (The teacher didn’t really know how to OP a server. Oh yeah. The teacher’s playing too.)
But it’s been really cool so far!

Hm isnt it useful to use kickstarter for funding?

Did another paper on the Subject recently (Actually, more on Game Design itself rather than games in education) I can link to it if you guys want to read through it.

I got and 85% (Even though it was 2 weeks late)

For what level of education are the papers (I mean are you in high school, university, etc)?

At lest the teachers probably learning plenty :D.