As educators continue to look for more engaging ways of teaching, many have turned to introducing students to educational gaming which are computer based and usually simulation types games, like Second Life
. While few educators are trying out different ways to integrate gaming in their curriculum with the hope that students will experience better learning and applying their knowledge, most educators still have a negative view on using gaming in the classroom. Many don't see the educational value behind gaming, which may be true for some games, but there are many games that can educate students in ways that classrooms just can't do. Below is a Vialogue
of TED speaker Jane McGonigal
discussing how she believes that people playing more games can potentially solve more of the world's biggest problems, which may seem like a bold statement to some people. But by watching the video below some educators may get inspired and apply her ideas to improve their STEM classrooms.
Potential for sySTEMic Change:
So how does this idea of more gaming help improve STEM education? Well an educator doesn't necessarily need to include more gaming in the classroom to improve it, just the right kind of game that helps challenge students into using their STEM knowledge and applying it in creative and meaningful ways through gaming. Simulation games are a great way to challenge STEM students. One of the games that Jane McGonigal created, World Without Oil
, is a great example of a simulation game where students would need STEM knowledge and creativity to solve a problem that has no one right answer.
There are many computer games like these that educators can research and use to engage and challenge their students. It may be time to start using more creative ways of teaching with new resources, instead of using the same old ditto worksheets from the 1950's. Educators themselves may want to learn more about gaming concepts, and what game elements keeps players engaged and apply them to the classroom. Let's keep gaming, everyone.