David Warlick Ryann Warlick Martin Warlick
Shakabuku Infographics Video

Better Learning?

Two hands holding a video game controller

Playing a Video Game

I remember one particular week when my daughter was trying to learn the nine types of nouns for English class. She would be tested at the end of the week on her ability to label them in given sentences. Although she was a serious and conscientious student, my daughter struggled with some types of learning, especially memorization. She spent evenings that week, heroically and sometimes tearfully trying to distinguish common nouns from proper nouns, from collective nouns, from verbal, compound, abstract, concrete, countable and uncountable nouns.

Meanwhile, with our attention firmly directed to our her efforts, our son was left to his own devices. He was less academically challenged, but far less serious about school work and spent that week playing a newly-rented video game. Without the manual, he had to trial-and-error himself into the game’s dynamics. He failed and succeeded, made observations, formulated hypotheses, tested his hypotheses and constructed a mental toolbox of strategies so that he could play the game and save the damsel or slay the dragon – or whatever the goal was.

That week of watching my daughter struggling while my son played left me wondering, “Who was engaged in the learning that might be most appropriate for their future? Was it my daughter, who struggled to memorize the qualities of nine types of nouns, or my son, who was teaching himself how to play a complicated video game?”


  • jes arnold

    While both your children were learning something during the week, your daughter battled, and your son succeeded. Your son was able to learn through doing something that interested him; this allowed him to gain skills without realizing. He used evaluation, critical thinking and reasoning skills, testing his thoughts and ideas. This type of trial and error in a fun and non-confrontational manner can build a child’s resilience to making mistakes and not give up. These are higher-order thinking skills that apply to many different areas of his life. Critical thinking skills are so valuable in a child’s learning process and are often taught through other skills in school.
    Your daughter, however, was forced to learn information that will be of little relevance in later life. Types of nouns will not impact her resilience in college or success at keeping a job. She did experience frustration in learning, and if her grade was weak, this could cause her to form a bad relationship with education. She should have looked at other ways to learn this information that would have peeked her interest and been fun for her. Teachers try to force students to learn in a way that does not connect with them, rather than shaping the content in a meaningful way that is easy for the students to understand.

  • https://www.qualityessay.co.uk/ Gloria woods

    Positively yes. Gamified education is truly our prospect. It’s most simple approach to engage students, also – progress their useful abilities (as example – virtual economy game online).

Photo taken by Ewan McIntosh in a Taxi in Shanghai

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Books Written

Cultivating Your Personal Learning Network
2nd Edition (2012)

Redefining Literacy 2.0 (2008)
Classroom Blogging
(2007) • Lulu
• Amazon
Raw Materials for the Mind

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