The Great Connections Seminar

The Great Connections Seminar
Discussing ethics

Friday, October 29, 2010

Employees Learn More, Forget Less With Videogames

Much maligned in education and by teachers everywhere, read about a new study metastudy examining 65 studies and over 6,000 videogame trainees which finds that people learn better with videogames.

"A University of Colorado Denver Business School study found those trained on video games do their jobs better, have higher skills and retain information longer than workers learning in less interactive, more passive environments."

"games work best when they engage the user, rather than instruct them passively. She found 16 percent of the games she studied were too passive and no more effective than other teaching methods," said researcher Traci Sitzman.

Active engagement is key to the success of the Montessori Method also, using learning materials and self-directed activities.

To give teachers critical of videogames their due, students sometimes play these games so much that they miss important opportunities for real-world exploration and social interaction.

On the other hand, I've seen plenty of children work closely together on strategy and logical implications while playing videogames as a group, or online together.

Videogames can enable a person to engage in complex, multi-faceted, and/or exciting, dangerous activities, developing important cognitive and physical skills while remaining safe. They can develop skills through games that would be much more difficult to gain in the real world as a child or adolescent.

Bottom line: technology can result in good or ill, depending on how you use it.

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