Teachers Big Advantage Tool: Portable Game Device

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em

From the Indystar.Com by Josh Duke
May 14, 2009

Students at Brownsburg’s Reagan Elementary School used to get in trouble if they were caught in class playing with a hand-held gaming device.

Now, at least one class of high-ability fourth- and fifth-graders not only is encouraged to use Sony PlayStation Portables, but each student is provided with the increasingly essential learning tool.

Two instructors, Chris Chadd and Robbie Grimes, began the innovative approach to education this year. They believe schools need to get away from traditional teaching methods to reach today’s students, who never knew life before the Internet.

See rest of story from indystar.com

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Most kids want educational games in school, survey shows….So?

Article from Buzzblog by Paul McNamara

Of course they do, I hear you saying, eyes rolling. Most any parent who has struggled to tear a child away from a video game will cringe and/or guffaw at the notion of schools actually using such games to teach serious academics.

Either reaction is a perfectly understandable, although perhaps shortsighted.

The survey, which covers a swath of issues relating to technology and K-12 education, was conducted over the course of 2007 by Project Tomorrow.

Among the survey findings:

* More than half of students in grades 3 through 12 believe educational gaming would help them learn;

* Only 16% of teachers, 15% of administrators and 19% of parents are on board today — although there was significantly more support for further exploration of the potential;

* And, 11% of teachers say they’re already using video games in class, no matter how much you roll your eyes.

Then there was this little nugget, which may explain better than any other data point why this topic is even being discussed: Only 3% of elementary school students say they do not play video games of any kind.

Students surveyed say learning via video games would help them better understand difficult concepts, become more engaged in the subject matter and practice skills.

There’s no mention of the games being fun, but that goes without saying.

Link to the rest of this article from Buzzblog by Paul McNamara

Gaming is the future of classroom instruction

FETC ‘eye opening’ keynote speaker Jim Brazell stresses the importance that gaming will soon have in K-12 classrooms

Gaming is moving out of the entertainment domain and into other areas, said Jim Brazell, president of ventureRAMP.com.  “We now have serious games. There are applications of video games to domains other than entertainment,” he said Jan. 22 at an “eye opening” keynote — so named for its start time 28 minutes after sunrise — during the Florida Education Technology Conference. “Video games do not belong pigeon holed in entertainment.”

Games have crossed into serious domains such as health care and military training and have begun to give birth to new models of playing, learning, and socializing, he said.

“You can get more data in a video game than in any other education area,” Brazell said, adding that gaming allows for the convergence of physical, virtual, and imaginary realities.

Video games have been used for things as diverse as emergency-response training and language acquisition. The utility of gaming derives from the fact that mammals learn best through play, according to Brazell.

Researchers mull gaming’s impact on learning

Studies suggest the benefits of playing video games go well beyond thrills

From eSchool News staff and wire service reports

Researchers gathering in Boston for the American Psychological Association’s annual convention highlighted a series of studies Aug. 17 suggesting that video games can be powerful learning tools–from increasing the problem solving potential of younger students to improving the suturing skills of laparoscopic surgeons. One study even looked at whether playing “World of Warcraft,” the world’s biggest multiplayer online game, can improve scientific thinking. The conclusion? Certain types of video games can have benefits beyond the virtual thrills of blowing up demons or shooting aliens.

See the rest of the article from eSchoolNews