Educational Video Games

When I attended primary or intermediate school, there were seldom more than one or two computers in a classroom, and they were used more as a form of entertainment rather than for educational purposes. Technology began rapidly developing in the years that followed, until in my high school years it was pretty much expected that you or a member of your family owned a pc or a laptop. Despite these changes, it seems that the education system has not incorporated these technological changes into the way they teach students.

Mark Presky describes this gap in technological changes and lack of change in the educational system in his paper Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. Digital Natives are those in the new generation who have been brought  up in the hyper-technological world and grown accustomed to using it in their everyday life, whereas Digital Immigrants are those that may still feel uncomfortable using these technologically advanced devices. Presky’s argument is that old schooling methods will no longer be effective in teaching Digital Natives. This is because they have become accustomed to using hypermediated technologies when they are not at school, and are not used to “powering off” at school.

Educational video games are an example of incorporating a new kind of teaching method to help people learn. Although there have been many debates over the years, video games are regarded to be an effective medium for educational purposes. This is because people can learn at their own pace, and have immediate feedback on their learning. Video games also provide a more hands-on approach to learning (eg: compared to lectures), as they are more immersed in what they are doing. Educational video games is also likely to increase a  student’s motivation to learn a subject, as they are using a medium that they associate with entertainment purposes.

I think that it is important that teachers start to consider integrating educational video games into some part of their curriculum, as there are benefits to the students. Personally, I think that if there were educational video games when I went to school, it would probably have made the subjects a lot more interesting.

http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf

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