“Video Game Math”

I came across this interesting article/video on Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-zigman/video-game-math_b_1173245.html?ref=games

This short video is hilarious and I feel very relevant to the course. In the video, the father only allows the son to have 1 hour of “screen time” a day. The son tries to explain to his father that playing video games for 3 hours does NOT equal 3 hours of “screen time”. By using “video game math”, the son attempts to convince his father that he actually earns more hours of video game time from the 3 hrs of video games he played since the video games he’s played are actually educational. IT’S A MUST WATCH VIDEO!! =)

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Basketball & Algebra

http://www.performigence.com/Pub/RealworldmathinNorthChicagoNewsSunNews.htm

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!

Math Education Replaced by Video Games?

Some aspects of education — especially mathematics, which requires repetitive practice — seem like they could easily be adapted to the video game format, where players are encouraged to play over and over again until they master new skills.

A study of the effectiveness of one video game designed to teach linear algebra, called DimensionM, revealed a significant difference between a control group, who received traditional mathematical instruction, and a treatment group, who played the DimensionM game.

Owing perhaps to the limited statistical power of their study (which included about 200 kids), the researchers don’t make any attempt to quantify the difference that the game made, other than to say that the students who played it in school did better. Past studies have revealed mixed results for the use of games in the classroom, but the authors argue that this is precisely the point — any game that’s to be used in school should be evaluated in a controlled study first.

In terms of the larger implications for education, it’s worth noting that this school district, which was somewhere in the Southeast U.S., was relatively low-achieving to begin with. So arguably the study’s results are more likely to generalize to similar districts. In fact, a growing body of educators are already arguing that the world’s worst-off children are better off being educated by machines.

Educational games have come a long way since the Cave of the Word Wizard and Dungeon of the Algebra Dragon, and DimensionM typifies the changes that have taken place. Not only does it take place in a three-dimensional world, but it’s also multiplayer, tapping into kids’ natural inclinations to both compete and cooperate.

Given the level of math phobia present in American schoolchildren and the sorry state of financing for education, it’s worth asking whether or not the trend lines of declining quality in education and increasing quality of educational games have already crossed for a significant portion of American students.

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