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games research

Research Blog #6: Commercial Video Games in the Science Classroom

I just came across an article that talks about how video games can be used in science classrooms.  As a general rule, the article explains that the right video game can promote exploration, discovery, gathering of data, and the repeated formulation of a hypothesis based on mistakes and new data collected.  To me, these skills all sound like ones taught in science labs.  A benefit of the games is that they turn off any disgust that a student may have with the school because commercial video games are just that, video games that can and are bought outside the classroom for home use.  This means that bringing them into the classroom will make a student feel as though he is not necessarily participating in a school activity.  The article specifically states, “I recommend teachers develop units that allow students to play in small groups, create their own identities, explore as much as possible, debrief with teachers and peers, and then, as an assessment, produce a final product that displays the new knowledge or skill they developed in the game.”  To me, this seems like the key, because a video game is simply a video game without teacher interaction.  Once the teach explains that playing it will be part of a project where a student has to correlate the game with the actual lesson material, then it becomes a learning tool.  The article also gives great ways to help put the game into the classroom as easy as possible.  This means that (since there most likely would only be one copy of the game for the classroom since they are relatively expensive) the game will be one of multiple stations that students must rotate through.  This way, only a small group of students would be using the video game at a time.  Along with how video games as a whole could be used in the classroom, the article also lists specific video games and how they could be used.  I will definitely use this article in my final paper because it seems to give so much useful information about the actual use of the game in the classroom, something that I have really yet to find.  I feel as though this information would be very beneficial to any parent or teacher.  It goes against the media’s perceptions of video games and gives light as to how they can actually be beneficial.

Angelone, Lauren. “Commercial Video Games in the Science Classroom.” Science Scope (2010): n. pag. Academic OneFile. Web. 24 June 2013.

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Discussion

One thought on “Research Blog #6: Commercial Video Games in the Science Classroom

  1. I remember a very common practice among teachers to prepare their students for an upcoming test was jeopardy. I think jeopardy is the grass roots to this whole educational video game theory. It is characteristic of some of the things you just listed. For instance, “This means that bringing them into the classroom will make a student feel as though he is not necessarily participating in a school activity.” I’m sure you played jeopardy when you were in grade school to prepare for a class, did it feel like class was arduous that day or did it feel like a day off? For me, my competitive side kicked in and I would often find myself thinking harder about the material than I ever had. It was so fulfilling when you earned a point for your team, and it was a great ice breaker for that cute girl that sat next to you 😉 If every day was like a jeopardy day, and it was actually successful, kids might actually look forward to waking up for school in the morning!

    Posted by sccrdude540 | June 25, 2013, 12:43 am

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