Friday, April 1, 2011

Games for Effective Learning

Today I posed a few questions to teachers who are members of edWeb. I have been researching educational games and would like to know what teachers think about educational games. What I have found so far in digital games seem to boil down to these three categories:

  1. Electronic Flash Cards -- Even though they may not look like flashcards in the digital environment, that's all they really are. Students make their way through a game answering questions.
  2. Real-world window dressing -- These games appear to be set in the "real world." Students take on the role of spy or investigator. Along the way they have to complete "missions" which often involve lessons not dissimilar from what they would see in a textbook. These "missions" have nothing to do with the storyline. Students complete the "mission" by answering a few questions correctly. The receive tokens or some sort of reward, and then they move ahead in the story.
  3. Virtual reality -- Students often participate in virtual reality games as themselves, rather than as a character. They encounter problems or situations that could truly happen in the real world. Students learn by doing. Tutorials are provided if students need help doing something that is happening in this virtual world.
I'm anxious to see how teachers respond to my query. I believe there is a time and place for electronic flashcards. I see them as a way to become fluent in a new skill. I don't know of any other way to remember the meanings of German words. But when it comes to learning a new skill, I'm more of a learn-by-doing sort of gal. I never learn how to drive to a new location by sitting the in the passenger seat. I have to drive their myself to really learn the route. (And, now that I have a GPS telling me where to go, I'm not learning the route even when I'm driving.)

No comments:

Post a Comment