Monday, June 18, 2012

Video Games can help us find a better way to help our Children Learn

Practicing 18th Century Education in the 21st Century Classroom

I suspect that genius needs one thing more in order to accumulate outstanding qualities, one needs unusually effective ways to learn. It’s not enough to learn a lot, one also has to manage what one learns. Those masters have, beneath the surface of their mastery, some special knacks of “higher-order” expertise, which help them organize and apply the things they learn. It is those hidden tricks of mental management that produce the systems that create those works of genius. Why do certain people learn so many more and better skills? These all-important differences could begin with early accidents. One child works out clever ways to arrange some blocks in rows and stacks; a second child plays at rearranging how it thinks. Everyone can praise the first child’s castles and towers, but no one can see what the second child has done, and one may even get the false impression of a lack of industry. But if the second child persists in seeking better ways to learn, this can lead to silent growth in which some better ways to learn may lead to better ways to learn to learn. Then, later, we’ll observe an awesome, qualitative change, with no apparent cause–and give to it some empty names like talent, aptitude, or gift.

Video Games, Addiction, and the Potential for Addictive Education

Dr. Paul Howard-Jones has been creating somewhat of a stir for the better part of the past year in a series of interviews and conference presentations regarding the addictive nature of video games, and the possibility for leveraging that addiction in the process of education. There has been a series of articles published in the recent weeks covering Dr. Howard-Jones’ ideas, research, and findings, and the education and the game communities have been enjoying a fair amount of discussion and debate on the topic. As the Senior Lecturer at Graduate School of Education at University of Bristol, specializing in Neuroscience and Education, he does have a natural interest in the field, and his research is currently focused on finding better ways to help students learn. Video games as a compulsion actually has some positive promise, according to Dr. Howard-Jones. As he states:

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