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About Gaming – & Learning

January 26, 2009

If it’s this big …

From a slideshow by Jerome Sudan

From a slideshow by Jerome Sudan

the education community should be taking notice!

I confess I know almost nothing about gaming, but I suspect it will be (should be) deeply important to education. As a student, I used historical fiction to help me learn history, and it worked. The learning promise for gaming appears to be much richer and deeper.

This slideshow by Jerome Sudan (found via Stephen Downes) outlines the power of gaming quite succinctly.

The only “game” that I play regularly is the beyond simple iPhone widget Blanks – and I’m amazed at how seductive the experience is, (although occasionally I find their match-ups of definitions and words too obvious and/or grammatically different – but even that is fun). In Blanks, you are given a definition and four possible words. You are supposed to drag the matching word to a a ripped hole in the “lined paper” background. I suspect much rote learning of definitions – of language, parts of systems, geography, etc. would be much more efficiently taught (and learned) by having students play simple games where they  drag one part to its match-up connection, thus adding a kinesthetic componant to immediate feedback and repetition. Movement on the screen and the privacy of “correction” are also part of the power of such simple games.

Do you know of any online effective educational games? (Preferably free ;-> )

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