The Video Game Revolution continues to grow as new games are released almost everyday for one of the popular gaming systems like the XBox 360, Wii, Playstation 3, GameCube, 3DS, NGP. We've come a long way since Atari in the 1970s. What impact do video games have on education? Do they force teachers to teach lessons more like games to motivate students? Have video games made it difficult to get students to complete homework?
Sometimes it helps to meet your students in their "reality." When I was a new teacher Sesame Street, a popular television program that my students grew up watching, caused me to chunk student learning in my presentations.
Games, ever popular with our students today, are great for honing 21st Century skills. Students think critically (and fast), communicate their strategies, and collaborate to problem solve. This has to cause us as educators to think, why not get our content across in a way that reaches and motivates today's students. Learning can be fun! Project-based learning, according to research, addresses 21st Century Skills and produces more understanding than simple memorization of material.
Pilots learn to fly in simulators. Who are the "top guns?" Young men and women who have grown up with video games. Today's scientists work in teams to complete complex experiments and solve complex problems. This is our students' future. Simulations, problem solving, and team work. Since our students will likely hold five different jobs in their lifetime, many that don't currently even exist, perhaps we are preparing our students for their future.
In our grandchildren's future, perhaps video games (simulations) will be their homework!
Kids of today do have the technology and are not afraid to dive in and learn more about it. The benefits of this have to be the fast past thinking. Learning is fun and how lucky our children are to have the interactive, visual stimuli to get them motivated. I look at all the Lesson Plans out there and am excited to share them with my students. So much of the past was learning by rote memorization which was fine for the times; but now we can build on the why and how. Kids will still do all the creative thinking we want them to; but maybe in a different way and still research and use skills to share and collaborate with peers in the classroom and out. Many people of my generation worry about kids sitting in front of a computer screen and not getting up and moving. My thoughts are they would be sitting at desks, at the table, or on beds to do the homework assigned. What is the difference from using the computer? We can and should build in time for activity into the daily work.
Patricia, you make a good point that kids are lucky to have interactive, visual stimulation to motivate them to learn. Research proves that hands-on instruction is a much better teacher than rote memorization. I also agree that sitting in front of computers is not much different from sitting at desks, tables, or on beds. However, we do need to find a balance between classroom time and activity periods. For some reason (perhaps with budget cuts and mandated standardized tests), students have become more sedentary during the school day with less time allotted for physical education activities. I believe this change is contributing to the obesity problem among young people.
The research does indicate our kids are becoming more obese; and I think this applies to adults, too.
We sit at desks to do the paper work, grading, entering grades, writing lesson plans, testing, responding to other and taking classes, etc. We also need to balance in more activity for ourselves. It is the dedicated person who can do this; I for one struggle to get it all done. That is why it is so wrong they are cutting activity out of the kids day. We need as educators to voice our concerns to the legislature and whoever will listen. Thank you for making that point!
There are both plusses and minuses. I see that students have the opportunity to refine and expand their learning using online resources. Anecdotally, I have also noticed that students have lost the ability to ponder or to struggle. Their attention spans are shorter and in order to compete, teachers are expected to sing and dance and present material in small, fun and easily digestible chunks, but learning is not always easy. Sometimes students have to struggle.