VIDEO GAMES IN EDUCATION Are Video Games the Future of Education? YOUR NAME HERE University of South Dakota Are Video Games the Future of Education? Synopsis Old school methods of teaching have become known as “chalk and talk” where a teacher stands in front of the chalkboard and lectures the whole period with limited time at the end of class to discuss what the students have learned. Some of these methods have become obsolete with new computer-based technology changing the educational scene continuosly yet some methods are so far kept intact.
Every classroom schedule has set aside time of each day for the basic areas of study but with the thought of a new way for kids to learn maybe this too may eventually become obsolete. Katie Salen, a games designer and a professor of design and tecnology at Parsons The New School for Design in New York, hopes to change the entire way society believes education should be taught by completely abandoning this traditional philosophy. This is why she is one of the primary promoters for a new program, Quest to Learn, which is a freshly built taxpayer-funded school in New York.
The Anonymous author indicated that “Instead of chalk and talk, children learn by doing–and do so in a way that tears up the usual subject-based curriculum altogether. ” Quest to Learn’s school day will consist of four 90-minute intervals devoted to “domains” which the Anonymous author says “include(s) Codeworlds (a combination of mathematics and English), Being, Space and Place (English and social studies), The Way Things Work (math and science) and Sports for the Mind (game design and digital literacy).
Each domain concludes with a two-week examination called a “Boss Level”” (Anonymous, 2009) The school plans to admit students between the age of 12 and 18 so nobody knows for sure exactly how this experiement of sorts will turn out because the first class will not be over until 2016. The Anonymous author claims: “If it fails, traditionalists will no doubt scoff at the idea that teaching through playing games was ever seriously entertained. If it succeeds, though, it will provide a model that could make chalk and talk redundant.
And it will have shown that in education, as in other fields of activity, it is not enough just to apply new technologies to existing processes–for maximum effect you have to apply them in new and imaginative ways. ” (Anonymous, 2009) The thought of using video games in education has implications beyond taxpayers not supporting the idea. The Starting Point, a website made by Carleton College in Minnesota, deals with the use of video games in Geoscience and explains how there are other problems beyond the surface of the issue.
The Starting Point proclaims “Academics are used (for) lecturing and writing, presenting material in words, and taking things step by step (b)ut video games are about pictures, especially animated ones, and letting the player decide in what order to perform tasks. ” (as cited in Prensky, 2001) They also mention that academics will need the cooperation with video game creators because they cannot create this software on their own. Another issue is the expenses revolving around the technology to actually create the game. Animation software is available to educators at a deep discount, but a commercial-grade video game will still cost university consortia millions to make. ” (“Digital Game Based Learning”, 2009) Analysis I think the thought of having video games to help aid the education process would be excellent if it was used in moderation. The Quest to Learn program I believe is pushing the boundaries too far by having the entire day be taught through video games.
Eventually even the avid video gamer needs a rest from playing video games. The video game creators also cannot continuously be creative enough to keep these students entertained through years of education. The Quest to Learn program would possibly work if it was imported into a classroom at a maximum of 1–3 hours a week to help guide the student along with the organized coursework. Tax-payers will not go for this program either because the older generation does not approve of video games as it is.
If students were only required to play video games during a school day then they would not receive the required social interaction with other students that ordinary school allots them. I feel this program would not work as a full time teaching method but if Quest to Learn successfully works it could change the face of the education system for the future. Implications for practice The thought of having video games helping teach students is important because as technology grows educators need to embrace it and this could be one way to develop with the future.
Education will always be around but the methods of how the knowledge will be delivered will change. Quest to Learn may seem farfetched at this time but if it happens to fail the system will still learn by trial and error from it by what initiatives the program did wrong or what a program using a new form of technology could do differently to effectively work. The Quest to Learn program is just one of the current examples of how educators are trying to take a risk at changing the process in a positive direction in an attempt to allow education to become easier for students. Conclusion
The future of education may revolve around using video games to teach students their curriculum but we are still at the beginning step toward making it a large-scale reality. The Quest to Learn program is a fully functioning school in New York where instead of ordinary classroom periods there are four 90 minute video game sessions. The program has not shown results yet because the first students will not graduate until 2016. Many people claim the program will most likely fail but what comes from the results of this experiment could help change the future of the educational world. References
Digital Game Based Learning: Educational Video Games?. (2009, November 22). Retrieved November 23, 2009, from http://serc. carleton. edu/introgeo/games/digigbl. html Prensky, M. (2001, October 5). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. Retrieved November 23, 2009, from http://www. marcprensky. com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1. pdf Science and Technology: Games lessons; Education, _Psychology and _ Technology. (2009, September). The Economist, 392(8647), 86-87. Retrieved November 9, 2009, from Research Library. (Document ID: 1853058921).