7 Ways (Video) Games Reward The Brain
I'm a huge fan of harnessing ingredients of video games to make learning and working more enjoyable, more motivating (for newbies to this notion:
- mega-post on ideas for games-based learning
- 101 other posts on gaming
- 600+ bookmarks of cool video games and games-based learning stuff.)
Tom Chatfield's seven key video game takeaways are incredibly useful for those redesigning curricula (or their classroom practice) who want to tap into the power of video games. My colleague Derek is always at pains to point out that "good teachers use good tools at the right time", but I still meet folk who miss that, and still feel that a lesson without games-based learning can't be as exciting as those with it. Tom notes in particular the potential in using gamer progress bars as indicators of academic and personal progress. He cites the University of Indiana as one of the cutting edge institutions working in this way.
That said, though, I'm sure when even I was at primary school we had a class chart that we filled with shiny stars every time we progressed in our learning or worked particularly well. Was my Year 1 teacher Mrs O'Hare inventing game mechanics in 1982 without knowing it?
Much in the same way as we can learn from how social networks operate in order to. say, make our own virtual learning environments work better, without the need to feel we need to harness Facebook for learning, I'd say that there are seven gems in this talk that show how we can harness games mechanics for learning from tomorrow morning, without feeling the need to learn the practicalities of bringing in Xboxes, PlayStations and Wiis to the classroom. One thing - to get what these mechanics are, it still helps if you've experienced them first hand by actually, erm, playing a game. Something for your Christmas holiday homework, perhaps?