Video Games in Education


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Presentation given at an education conference on using video games in education.

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  • Alt F5 Hi, I am Jennifer Wagner and I write a blog for parents of teens about keeping up with pop culture, technology and education. I recently put together an ebook which compiled numerous studies on the benefits of gaming. The largest chapter turned out to be on the educational benefits.
  • I want to discuss the reasons why video games aid learning
  • Leveling up means that a player has gained enough experience to move to the next level. Gamers work very hard to level up. Sometimes due to rewards such as extra points, but often it is for the intrinsic reward of advancing. No need for testing because getting to the next level is like passing the test for the previous one. The design of the game shows that if you keep leveling up and finished, you’ve passed. Classes are designed to get the lowest common denominator engaged and everyone is tested at the same time after the same amount of learning, while games are an interactive, ‘lean-forward’ medium in which players can progress at their own pace while trying and failing in a safe environment. Traditionally students study for a test and the goal is the grade, not necessarily understanding the concepts.. Tests drive the system – teach to the test. However with video games, don’t need test because Solve problems with what you know, don’t just learn facts.
  • The educational value is not based on the content of the game but on the way they are played It is not what you are thinking about when you’re playing a game, it’s the way you are thinking that matters. .. Games force you to decide, to choose, to prioritize. All the intellectual benefits of gaming derive from this fundamental virtue, because learning how to think, is ultimately learning how to make the right decisions.  Many games are very complex with hundreds of commands and variables. This Cultivates critical thinking.Video puzzle games that exercise children’s memories can enhance their abstract reasoning and problem-solving skills, which can have a direct impact on future educational and occupational success.  Studies have also shown that video games can improve players’ vision, attention and certain cognitive skills. Study participants also performed better than non-gamers on certain tests of speed, accuracy and multitasking. One of the reasons is that Images help memory.
  • Risk taking is encouraged because you can just start over again. Creates opportunities for learners to fail productively — learn using the process of trial and error
  • Video games provide clear goals and immediate feedback that provide the best learning experiences.
  • Many games require collaboration. Members of a team must work together on a problem by contributing different forms of skill and expertise. This is great training for future job success.
  • Games are a form of learning from experience. Players are given well-designed experiences that they cannot have in the real world.  Video games intermix instruction and demonstration, a more effective learning technique than the style currently found in most classrooms.
  • Video gaming has the potential to capture the interests of students and teach them physics, critical thinking, math, logic, spatial reasoning, probability, and problem solving.  It also offers the students the opportunity to be creative while trying to apply skills. (And they have fun too.)  A great way to integrate tech and goal-oriented learning because of their Longer attention span.
  • When people begin playing video games, they are learning a new literacy. They are learning a new interactive language that grants them access to virtual worlds that are filled with intrigue, engagement and meaningful challenges.  Language is taught through experience.  The real world requires higher-order thinking than being able to answer questions on a test. There is a growing emphasis in education on 21st-century skills such as collaboration and communication
  • Game creation as a learning tool is really just a digital-age take on the old learning-by-doing approach to teaching: Students pick up concepts easier and retain more information when they are hands on with their subject matter. This is also a great way to get girls interested in game design, a career path they may never have thought about.
  • Designed for middle school students, Vanished requires players to discover what caused a future, hypothetical catastrophe that destroyed all of civilization’s historical records by researching and recording a variety of current scientific data. iCivics features five games about constitutional law and the branches of U.S. government. Justice Sandra Day O’connor collaborated on it.Series of online games called CSI: Web Adventures to introduce forensic science to middle school students. The games challenge players to examine a crime scene, requiring them to identify shoe and fingerprints, test DNA samples, and interview potential suspects. Minecraft is an online game focused on creativity and building, allowing players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D world. is a website that helps teachers tailor Minecraft for their curriculum. Minecraft can support your goals whether you are teaching to Core Standards, allowing your students an opportunity for creative expression, or anything in between.Portal primarily comprises a series of puzzles that must be solved by teleporting the player's character and simple objects using "the handheld portal device” Teach with portals Teachers sign up for the Education Beta and get access to Portal 2 and the Portal 2 Puzzle Maker and a teacher-created collection of puzzles for as many students as they’d like - for free.Both Minecraft and Portal, which were not created as “educational games” help make STEM subjects, as well as other skills, much more fun.
  • Mark Prensky and James Paul Gee are two of the top experts in this field.
  • I hope you enjoyed my presentation. My ebook can be found on the Kindle store in Amazon.
  • Video Games in Education

    2. 2. Why are Video Games Good for Learning?Jennifer Comet Wagner
    3. 3. Leveling UpJennifer Comet Wagner
    4. 4. Decision MakingJennifer Comet Wagner
    5. 5. Risk-TakingJennifer Comet Wagner
    6. 6. Goals and FeedbackJennifer Comet Wagner
    7. 7. CollaborationJennifer Comet Wagner
    8. 8. Simulations Fly an AirplaneJennifer Comet Wagner
    9. 9. Learning isEnjoyable When Play isInvolvedJennifer Comet Wagner
    10. 10. Learn New LiteracyJennifer Comet Wagner
    11. 11. Other  Educational Games are often Multidisciplinary  The Challenges Games Provide Motivate Students to LearnJennifer Comet Wagner
    12. 12. Learning via Video Game CreationJennifer Comet Wagner
    13. 13. Ex. Of Good Educational Games • Vanished • iCivics • CSI The Experience • Minecraft • Portal Comet Wagner
    14. 14. Recommended Websites • Games for Learning Institute • Institute of Play • Level Up! • MindShift • Mark Prensky • James Paul Gee Comet Wagner
    15. 15. Jennifer Comet Wagner @jenwag57 www.jennifercometwagner.comJennifer Comet Wagner