Video Games Help Kids Learn

I read a recent article called Do video games help kids learn? Yes, and no . A survey/study was conducting where they gave video game systems to a number of families and then another few that did not receive one. They found that the kids who had the game system scored better on math and science test. I don’t find this surprising because games require players to have strategy and problem solving. The brain is constantly and quickly making decisions. Players are actively using their brains! To support this I noticed a large number of genius computer programmers play video games. So playing games help kids succeed!

DimensionU Educational Video Games

I found this article related to the discussion topic this week. It was mentioned that  because of DemensionU serious game play is becoming more regularly used in the classroom. Students are immersed into math and problem solving during the game play and it has become very successful. It was interesting that the article also mentioned that research has proven that serious educational game play has academic gains!

Kahn Academy; Learning from Youtube

Is Kahn Education going to be the new way for learning? This new exciting program teaches students math through videos on youtube. Kids already watch videos on youtube, why not bring learning to their territory of entertainment. Children log into their account and do practice problems and can watch videos if they want more explanations. This is great because students can learn at their own pace and  use the program to fit their learning style. The other big plus is that its all free! This is especially great considering the fact that some students can’t afford to pay tutors for extra help. Kahn Academy is a new form of education that could transform the way kids learn.

Basketball & Algebra

This is an article that I read about a program called 4Real Math. It is a school program that was implemented in Chicago for middle school students in predominantly African American schools. This program teaches algebra through basketball. Although this technique  it isn’t a video game or another form of technology, it still is a great approach to teaching students algebra. Basketball is something that most adolescents are interested in. Relating math, which something that most students fall behind in, to an activity that they enjoy and have to drive to excel in, teaches kids that they can be good in math. “The sky is the limit!”  Another factor is that many students(especially African American) give up in math because they think they will never use it. Seeing math applied to real life activities proves to them that math is everywhere!

More Options for Curriculums

I read an article on called What Video Games can Teach Us. James Gee was interviewed and the artcile explained the many pros about children playing video games. One specific example was that video games help with keeping the attention of children who have ADHD at least 9 hours. I thought this was interesting because today we talked about motivation and this seems to have some connection. Children with ADHD have trouble focusing in school as well as certain activities that most people may think are entertaining.  Playing video games brings out a motivation to stay focused and play the game for a longer period of time instead of moving on to the next thing. It would be interesting if they would bring this idea into ways of training children with ADHD to focus on things through motivation. This should very well be experimented as a curriculum with the classroom. Children should play games in the classes room instead of sitting at the desk listening to the teacher’s lesson. Children would be motivated to learn more in school.

It was also interesting to read that playing video games can encourage kids to try new things. For example if a child loves playing a game that has science fiction, they may take more interest into the subject and will decide to read books and join activities involving science fiction. This in hand would help children practice and improve their reading skills.

I raise the issue that schools across the country should be trying new lesson plans that involves playing video games. As humans we are always doing research to find new ways to improve our way of lives through technology. Playing video games in the classroom may enhance the learning curve and increase motivation in children at a early age. We should NOT be content with the current basic curriculum. Experimenting and change is key to improving.