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?”

5 thoughts on “Better Learning?”

  1. 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.

  2. 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).

  3. Playing and learning are not discordant activities. Dramatic play, role-playing, and imaginary play are fundamental components of early childhood education; unsurprisingly, there is a reactionary shift towards play-based education. Play-based learning promotes social, linguistic, emotional, and cognitive development. Children who are encouraged to play can practice speaking and listening, recall story elements, improve gross and fine motor skills, and model/exhibit appropriate interpersonal behavior(s). If experimental, low-stakes play scenarios advantage the cognitive development of humans, It seems antithetical to prohibit the maturing learner from engaging in gaming activities. Remember when teachers rewarded students with garrulous rounds of Heads Up 7-UP, Hang Man, 21 Questions, or Four Corners on Fire? These mini-lessons in etiquette/strategy/inference-making/patience/insert-topical-objective-here were deceptive instructional techniques, albeit ones lacking today’s merciless adherence to evidence-based pedagogical rationales. It stands to reason that gamification has a justifiable place in modern classrooms. Gamification is the classroom application of game-playing strategies to student learning. As educators become more adroit at recognizing and implementing gamification techniques in academia, gamification translates to the seamless embedment of “game design elements in non-game contexts” (Laubersheimer, J., Ryan, D., & Champaign, J. 2016). Teachers are tapping the intrinsic design of games and fundamentals of gaming to promote soft (qualitative) cognitive and developmental skills: games like chess, Monopoly, and Call of Duty harness critical thinking, real-time decision-making, risk-taking, and communication skills.

  4. I played video games. I played Adventure Island. I got my playstation and played Super Mario. I spent Eight years playing playstation Games.

  5. I believe your son did a lot of learning that impacted his current knowledge status than your daughter and will eventually make he a better person regarding innovation. “However, we also expect students to take responsibility for their learning and think for themselves in a manner as adults do and have a constructed view of reality which permits them to manage their learning and development” (Ravindran, & Bacon, 2015). There is also evidence that “video games may be used to develop in students some useful skills and competencies: communication, resourcefulness, and adaptability (Barr, 2018).
    Barr, M. (2018). Student attitudes to games-based skills development: Learning from video
    games in higher education. Computers In Human Behavior, 80283-294. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2017.11.030
    Ravindran, A., & Bacon, L. (2015). Innovations in technology-enhanced learning. Newcastle
    upon Tyne, England: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015.

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