TED Conversations

David Williams

Training Specialist , Arvato

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Can gaming characteristics be used a a means of reaching a broader range of students in a class

As a facilitator of education or learning the hardest part is to assure to can communicate your message effectively to an entire class or group, yet a video game like Call of Duty can reach a target audience of 13.93 million who can pick up its intricacies with minimal instruction and self education to compete on a global level.

Are we as facilitators missing out, in that our audience has progressed to a new approach to understanding and should we as such not create a more versatile curriculum based around the involving and intuitive approaches to gaming to better reach our audiences.

sound, graphics, background and setting, duration of game, rate of play, advancement rate, use of humor, control options, game dynamics, winning and losing features, character development, brand assurance, and multi-player features, etc.


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    May 8 2013: Here are the twenty-two talks we have about using gaming, and attributes of gaming, to enhance learning.

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      May 8 2013: I was going to recommend those TED talks also :)

      Ali Carr-Chellman’s talk I think strongly relates to this conversation.

      And I’m a big fan of Jane McGonigal, you may be thinking what does mental health and problem solving have to do with education.
      Well I think mental health and problem solving should be part of education.
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        May 8 2013: Don't you think most people consider problem-solving a big part of education at all levels?
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          May 8 2013: Most people yes, but based on my personal appearances to most teachers education has been based on three things memorization, memorization, and memorization.
          By no means do I believe all schools and/or teachers do that, and kudos to teachers that do use problem solving.

          And “problem solving” is not the best terminology to describe her talk, maybe emotional motivation would have been better. I’m not sure how it should be phrased, whatever you call I like to see it used in education. http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world.html
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        May 8 2013: Could I ask in which city you went to school, Don, and roughly how long ago? I ask this because the only place I saw a chunk of memorization going on in my children's k12 public school educations was in some history and geography units and, of course, vocabulary in language classes. Most of what I have seen (and I have seen stunning amounts of homework around here) is problem solving, reading, and writing of various kinds.
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          May 9 2013: It was a typical Midwest steel town, over 30years ago. But considering it recently ranked among the lowest in the state, I’m thinking that is has not changed much.
          I know it not far to judge all schools base on one school district, but!
          Considering US schools low raking in the world, the high dropout rate, and when school kids were tested for divergent thinking, the low the grade the higher the score. (AI: first graders scored much higher then 5th graders)
          So it is fair to assume that too many schools are teaching student what to think and not how to think for themselves.

          Here is one article on the subject of convergent and divergent thinking. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beautiful-minds/201202/both-convergent-and-divergent-thinking-are-necessary-creativity
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          May 10 2013: Here in Ireland the focus is entirely on memorisation and rote learning. This trend is continued even to university level. Even a Bachelors Degree focus on the regurgitation of answers memorised for a final year exam, negating any growth or skill developed over the first 3 years.

          Its only at a Masters level (http://www.iihcs.com/graphics/FanDec2006.jpg), Level 9 here, where you would be on average about 22 years old that you would be actively taught and encouraged to ask why. This means we have people trying to enter the workplace on skills that they only know off by heart with out necessarily understanding them .

          The reason i focus my current research on games characteristics is that games drive a lot of self directed learning. There is a brilliant talk on here from Sugata Mitra (http://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_build_a_school_in_the_cloud.html) where he say a lot of this self learning and this was done with PCs and people taking it like a gaming environment. Not that they were just playing games but advanced learning was done with the support of sound, graphics, control options, winning and losing features, character development, and multi-player features.
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        May 9 2013: I know schools tend to concentrate on cultivating convergent thinking. But convergent thinking is not about what to think and is not related to memorization.

        Convergent thinking is analytical thinking, gathering information by reading, observation, experiment, and others means and then using critical thinking to determine what conclusions can logically be drawn, the sources of error, and the confidence one might have in results.

        Both convergent and divergent thinking are necessary in thinking creatively.

        When international comparisons are made and the US ranks toward the middle or lower among OECD countries, as the US does in the various parts of the PISA test, the tests are testing only convergent thinking, I believe.

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