Are Video Games a Worthwhile Educational Tool? Winston Harrington Kristen Lapi Karen Wissig
Do education methods need to change? • Recently, scientist have realized the education system is not fully reaching students, and believe that video games way be a way to reach them. • Teachers today did not grow up in the video game era and maybe reluctant to change, without taking into consideration the best form of education for their students. • Popularity of video games are increasing. The release of the most desired video games have made significantly more money on first day sales than almost any movie released. • Some researchers believe there is a connection between video games and learning, if it is the right kind of games.
The computer generation is stimulated differently then former generations. • Students today have grown up in an environment that is highly stimulating, frequently changing, and where they have grown accustom to instant gratification. • The responsibility of educators today is starting to change. They tend to teach in a manner that takes things one concept at a time, but students today are responding to using patterns and grouping concepts as a better way to interpret and hold information.
Benefits of Video Games • Video Games are interactive and can hold a students attention longer then listening to a teacher lecture. • By forcing students to participate through the video games, lectures become more beneficial. • They contain motivational tools such as being able to obtain high scores and reach higher levels. • Korzeniowski states that a video game never loses patience with a student.
Video Games in the “Real World” • Many businesses, the medical profession, and the US military have often used games as a training tool for their employees. • Many researchers agree video games assist in improving and developing real world skills. • The U.S. currently ranks #6 in the 2006-2007 World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index • Researchers believe using video games in our education systems can help improve the nation’s competitiveness.
Negative Effects • Excessive play by user • Children must learn the value of playing in a social setting for developmental reasons, and to be physically healthy should get a certain amount of physical exercise. • The cost of educational video games is too high for private companies to take on because the market for educational video games is no where near as high as the market for traditional games.
Video Game Use for Kindergarten Students • Two researchers, Din and Colao did a study of the effects of educational video games on kindergarten students. • Their first set of results show that there was only slight improvement in math skills • Not do to ineffectiveness but to maturity level of the students • They came to the conclusion that if students were too immature to learn the material an “external push” would not help
Video Game Use for Kindergarten Students • Results showed a good amount of improvement in reading and spelling • Concluded that if the content was age appropriate, educational video games may be helpful. • Another study stated “that playing educational video games on a PlayStation console for 40 minutes a day at school did lead to some significant improvements in reading and spelling, but not in math.”
Some Educational Video Games • Muzzy Lane Software's ‘Making History’ is a computer role-playing game where students take on challenges faced by significant history figures. • Games2Train’s The Algebots’ helps students understand basic algebra concepts. • V-Smile has a variety of different games that help children develop in different areas.
In Conclusion • Individual schools need to make a decision on whether or not they tools are cost effective in their schools. • Schools will not begin to invest their time and money on educational video games until further research is completed.