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Improving Education Through Social Gaming 44

Posted by Soulskill
from the i'd-play-a-number-munchers-mmo dept.
A piece up at Mashable explores how some schools and universities are finding success at integrating social gaming into their education curriculum. Various game-related programs are getting assistance these days from sources like the government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "For the less well-to-do educator, the Federation of American Scientists has developed a first-person shooter-inspired cellular biology curriculum. Gamers explore the fully-interactive 3D world of an ill patient and assist the immune system in fighting back a bacterial infection. Dr. Melanie Ann Stegman has been evaluating the educational impacts of the game and is optimistic about her preliminary findings. 'The amount of detail about proteins, chemical signals and gene regulation that these 15-year-olds were devouring was amazing. Their questions were insightful. I felt like I was having a discussion with scientist colleagues,' said Stegman. Perhaps more importantly, the video game excites students about science. Motivating more youngsters to adopt a science-related career track has became a major education initiative of the Obama administration. So desperate to find a solution that motivates students to become scientists, the government has even enlisted Darpa, the Department of Defense’s 'mad scientist' research organization, to figure out a solution."
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Improving Education Through Social Gaming

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  • by triorph (992939) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @05:40AM (#31069936)
    Its funny how the supposed "educational" games seem to have the least educational benefit. Games with no intended educational use such as Civilisation seem to do the best jobs of it. Of course nowadays with most games reaching for the lowest common denominator (aka Consoles) its hard to say whether normal games will give the best educational response, but at least that's how it has traditionally been.
  • by Smegly (1607157) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @05:52AM (#31069972)

    So desperate to find a solution that motivates students to become scientists, the government has even enlisted Darpa, the Department of Defense’s 'mad scientist' research organization, to figure out a solution.

    Must be extremely difficult to create a solution that balances the pressure to both dumb down education [google.com], limit critical thinking AND become good scientists.

  • Re:does this mean? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by vlm (69642) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @08:26AM (#31070662)

    Does this mean kids learn better from virtual sim's than from real people? Or that virtual teachers are better than poorly trained teachers?

    Theoretically, 30 teachers in a classroom with 30 students would do better than 30 computers in a classroom with 30 students.

    In practice, 30 computers in a classroom with 30 students can provide more one on one interaction than one teacher vs thirty students.

    I wonder how much of it is preventing the problem kids from messing up the non-problem kids. In a class of 30 kids, if 5 are gossiping/high/spaced out, 5 are violent, and 5 don't speak any english (probably with considerable overlap) that means the remaining kids will be completely ignored.

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"

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