TED Conversations

Jose Martinez

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What should the 21st century classroom look like? Could interactive technology provide solutions to the current system of education?

Can game technology be used to make the system of education more fun,engaging, and valuable?

How would such a “gameful” classroom be structured?

How do we begin to implement this new system? What would the 1, 5, and 10 year plans be for creating a new, more engaging system of education?

Please join graduate students from the Rochester Institute of Technology along with game developers, educators, usability specialists, and others from the global community in an online forum as we attempt to solve this problem collaboratively.

Please share your thoughts at http://tinyurl.com/rit-edu and help us shape the future of education.


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  • Feb 20 2012: I believe that we can use gaming technology to make education more fun, engaging and thereby making it valuable to the learner. The students of today expect to find technology at every turn, even the ones who only know it exist desire to have access to it. I could see science as an excellent way to add the "gaming technology" into the classroom. O the fun of creating an experiment and watching the outcome without the fear of blowing the classroom up. Move over fume hoods of days gone by and hello to protons and neutrons fighting it out to see where we end up in an experiment. By allowing the student to manipulate their learning experience they in turn gain knowledge. I know from personal experience that the lessons I've learned best were the ones that I was actively engaged in.
    • Feb 20 2012: Hey Susan,
      Speaking as a high school student in an advanced chemistry course, I have participated in both real life labs and labs on the computer. Honestly, I learned so much more information from the the real labs than the simulated ones because I felt like the technology was giving me distance from the actual lab. Virtual reality is never as exciting as actual reality, and only excitement engages students in the modern day.
      • Feb 20 2012: To a degree, excitement is a function of novelty. Given that playing with actual chemicals and chemical reactions lie outside the scope of most high school students lives (while the use of computers for a massive array of applications lie well within), it's easy to understand why physical experimentation would be exciting and beneficial.

        That said, the logical compromise is to take advantage of technology's ability to provide high quality pre-recordings and cheap and easy iteration (i.e. you can mix many more chemicals virtually, repeatably, than you could with actual chemicals)... while combining the high quality, but cheap repetition provided by virtualized experiences with the contrast of real experiments - allowing the student to understand the consequences of chemical reactions in the context of reality, while also capturing the minutiae of learning that is generally otherwise implicit and uncapturable (e.g. the constant awareness of danger of handling various chemicals).
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          Feb 20 2012: Virtual and Non Virtual LABs - they are different and will stay different and allow to learn quite diverse and partly opposing lessons.

          We should not only think about to take the best out of each learning surrounding, but also consider how the inter-action of a virtual lab / gaming AND non-virtual meetings can create synergies.

          We had a lot of very good experience to bring virtual groups & their aims into real-life projects: this transformation was a high motivation for the participants - we did this however in the field of urban labs; urban change through online art experiments, which were then exhibited in the urban situation they researched: http://www.2010lab.tv/en/video/been-out-vol-1-0

          The idea was to bring virtual & non-virtual / digital & real labs in a positive, self-re-enforcing cycle...

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