November 14, 2010

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:

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?


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I'm a big fan of this video and I spoke about it with my students (14-17) and they agree with most of it. But we couldn't find a way to introduce some uncertainty; I proposed some ways to do that but they didn't agree. I found it isn't fair.
So did you try something working in your classroom ?

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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