6720 Sept – 4

The gamification of Education.

Published by the Futurist September- October 2011

by Aaron M cohen

Why online social games may be poised to replace textbooks in schools.

  1. CMU online library
  2. This gives another view regarding how education and gamification can fit together
  3. There are no question this is an article
  4. The objective is to understand supporting research behind the idea of gamification in education
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  8. It was not confusion as much as the brief comment regarding getting students to stop playing

The main draw for this article was that it listed different references that I have seen in other places. Getting different perspectives on the same research helps one to interpret the resources better. This author strongly supports the idea that online social gaming in the future will be the tool of choice in many classrooms. The focus of this article was on young children (which is a focus of mine). How children learn when they are young is how they will enjoy learning when their are older.

This article discussed how professional training situations are already using games to replace lectures and presentations. This is an interactive way to draw employees into being excited about training opportunities. The author also discussed Thomas and Browns book, A new culture of learning, regarding the three aspects that are important to learning: curiosity, imagination, and a sense of play. These aspects are missing in traditional text book/lecture based learning experiences.

This article also mentioned the Quest2Learn charter school in New York, which was mentioned in the other article that I read earlier. The quote listed in the article was ‘a school that uses what researchers and educators know about how children learn and the principles of game design to create highly immersive, game-like learning experience in the classroom’. This view aligns with other research regarding how having an immersive interactive experience helps to deepen learning experiences and help the learner to enjoy educating themselves.

Interestingly it was noted that some subject were easier to gamify thane other. Science and math were at the top of the list. This surprised me as I would think that withe all the civilization creation games that History would be right up at the top as well.

The article brought up the downside of gamification, which is important to recognize as well. Student addition to gaming and playing for hours on end has been indicated in previous research as having the opposite affect on contextual learning. The author makes a suggestion that it would be an option for the characters in the game to ask for a break which would force the player to turn off the game thus giving them time to do something else. Including process the information they were seeking from the game.

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