Can Video games enhance learning?

This week in class we discussed how technology can be used as a tool to promote learning in the classroom, especially in regards to computer use. Can video games be used as a tool for education as well? The nyt article Learning by Playing: Video Games in the Classroom by Sarah Corbett, explores how a New York City school called Quest to Learn incorporates video game use in daily lesson plans designed for their students. Quest to Learn celebrated its two year anniversary in 2010. The school  was designed to ensure that learning is fun and interactive.
This is being done by applying knowledge learned in the class into real life through the action of playing and  creating games. The vision of Quest to Learn was created mainly by Katie Salen a professional game designer and Robert Torres, a learning scientist who is a former school principal. Katie spent two years planning Quest to Learn. Katie’s plan was funded by a research grant from the MacArthur Foundation, which is “pouring $50 million into exploring the possibilities of digital media and learning in a variety of settings nationwide (Corbett,2010). ”

The school’s curriculum has similar features of other schools such as daily homework assignments, reading and writing exercises that do not involve electronics. However there are other elements that make the school specifically unique, like students engage in recording podcasts, blog, film and they edit videos, and play video games of course. Students also spend much time creating their own games that range from board to computer games.
Learning should be designed around the wants and needs of students. According to Corbett “ Quest to Learn is organized specifically around the idea that digital games are central to the lives of today’s children and also increasingly, as their speed and capability grow, powerful tools for intellectual exploration (Corbett, 2010).”

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2 responses to “Can Video games enhance learning?

  • emilyschnitt

    I personally believe the use of video games is a great learning tool to a certain extent. It engages children, allows them to explore new technology and new outlets, and enhances the overall learning experience. Growing up in elementary and middle school, the games on the computer that we played were always the most engaging. I believe if done right, the games can enhance learning without making it feel forced or making it boring to do. Additionally, repeated tasks make the brain learn faster, which is what most games are. In doing so pertaining to learning, children will have more incentive to gain an education and come to school.

  • dolson2110

    I agree with these program entirely. I think technology is the future and equipping the young generations for the technologically advanced world we are in today is essential. However, I do have a concern in the social development of children in that typically those whom become technology obsessed lack social skills. It would be ideal if social development could be integrated in programs like this.

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