Thursday, May 7, 2015

Companion Cubes in School

"NES Controller" Pixabay
Are you ready for kids to have video games in a school environment? I am, and I think it is an important visual aspect for kids in the educational world. Certain games have certain aspects for different parts of learning. Now, the real question is should all schools adopt video games for educational purposes? I say yes, schools should adopt video games because video games have aspects of education in almost every way.

A huge example of schools using games for education would be the Nordahl Grieg Upper Secondary, a public high school in Norway. They use video games as a primary source of educational learning. The Principal of the school, Lin Holvik, said the goal is to build a school for the future. The school does not use games only for one subject, but for EVERY subject offered at the public school. For example, they use Portal 2 for physics, Civilization V for social studies, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for history, and The Last of Us for their literature class. Jørgen Kristoffersen, the physics teacher at the school said that “Real world experiments are important and the game can’t replace them, but the game gives students a different perspective on the laws of physics, where mechanics are simulated by a computer to create a realistic gaming environment. It can also be a great source of discussion when the laws of physics are broken!” The games have the ability to prove the laws of physics true, and can also form an opportunity for discussion, which is why video games should be implemented into the resources for learning around the world.
"Portal Logo" Wikimedia Commons

As a student myself, I understand that some games have little to no aspects for learning, like the Call of Duty series, which is mainly for entertainment. There is a group of teachers out there that are modifying games to make them more educational. The common core standard is starting to get met in games thanks to the programming teachers. For example they are modifying the game Minecraft. This makes it easier for some of the people out there who see no potential in games other than entertainment. As I sit here petting my cat, I am thinking about how games are getting modified and conclude, is it really ok to edit games without permission? I dont know the answer to that but as far as i’m concerned, if it is for education, it is good.

And now here comes the part of this blog where I talk about the view of why games would be bad for education. Like I said earlier, I am a student, so I do see mostly the good of having games in school because what kid would be upset about that? But being a part of a community, you deserve to know about the opposing view. They say that games are not contributing to a higher level of thinking, which I can agree with in part. Not all games are perfect, and it also depends on how the teacher would use it, but it is true, certain games have no way to challenge your thinking. Also they say that game addiction has the same symptoms as ADHD (Lack to pay attention to detail, Trouble organizing, etc). I do not see the point of putting this as a fact because it seems a little useless to put a stat about the similarities of two bad defects with adolescents in the present day. Living with my brother, who has ADHD is not easy, and I think it would be different living with a brother who is addicted to video games. Overall, I see their point, but they need to look at how each game has its own aspect of education.

The entirety of my writing could have no effect on the decision of the country, but I hope it made at least some of you think about it. Think back to when you were (or are) a kid. Could you imagine how cool it would be to play video games and actually learn! This is possible people! Your children could be like the Norwegian kids, learning about why your companion cube is not supposed to hover in the spinning beam thing and actually get to watch and see what the teacher is talking about! In conclusion, I think that no matter what, you should at least take this into consideration when and if this ever comes up in Congress or whatever the government is called in your country and think about your childhood. Would twelve-year-old you want to play pac-man but before you eat the ghost, you need to solve a math problem? What do you think? Let me know in the comments and thank you for your time. Like seriously. Thank you.

Bibliography




Conclusion, updated May 28 2015

          Well, I figured I would do a bit of a reflection on what I learned from these other comments, partly because I have to, and partly because I would like to. I learned that there are a lot of psychological factors and physical factors that go into deciding whether or not to use video games for education. A lot of the comments talked about how the social life of the kids would not be relevant if they were on the monitors all day long. I too cherish my gossip and talk time, so I get all of you guys’ points. I feel that my original argument was well said and had enough points to support it other than the social life side of the opposing argument. Once again, I saw that there has been way more research done on the social side of the video games in education, which I found quite interesting because I thought society cared more about our education system. Just kidding, do you really think they would care? I digress, I still think video games should be implemented into the education system for their diversity of their own aspects for learning. I think that doing this blog was a great experience because you get to have the experience of being a published author and having people reflect on your ideas and such. Overall, I am quite pleased on how this blog, and no matter what, if this im me 20 years into the future, or of it is someone analyzing my odd blog 5,000 years from now, no matter who you are, or what you may be doing, just know, alive or not, I thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to consider my proposition to improve the educational system.

12 comments:

  1. Hi EPICHippos77! You have made some strong points about the use of games in education. What makes these games so effective? I read an article about MIT's Education Arcade> which cautions against using gamification--using games as a way to make a subject like math more "fun." Math Blaster, for example, a math game from the 1980's, rewards players when they solve an equation. Unfortunately, it doesn't help kids learn how to solve the problem; it just rewards good players who already know the math. Do you think games like this belong in schools? Thanks for writing about this topic.--Ms. Riches

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    1. Hello Jane! thanks a bunch for your thoughts on my post. I found your atricle to be quite interesting, adding the "gamification" factor to the playing board of education in schools. I agree with you, once you have played said game a numerous amount of times , you could say memorize the RNG (random number generator: how you get doffrent math problems) of just by being super good at baasic math problems. A good solution for that problem would to rank these games in difficulty or just have an array of games to play that are not all one subject. All these things are something to consider when schools take on the question; "should video games be a part of education?" No matter what, your contribution to my blog means a lot, so thank you a lot. Have a good day!
      -EPICHippos77

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  2. Hello EPICHippos77, I found your article to be very interesting. I agree with your opinion that video games should be used in school. I know a lot of people learn better when there are visuals involved and I think video games would be a fun interactive way to learn. I found that another blog is fairly similar to yours. You may find some new information that you had not previously known if you check out Jonathan Pelster's blog . I also found this interesting article . I hope these articles are helpful, again I really enjoyed your article, it taught me something new. - Ashley

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    1. Hi Ashley! Thanks for your comment on my post! I agree, most people have an affinity for visual learning as do I, so having that screen is pretty visual if I do say so myself. I appreciate your contribution with the two links because they both put a diffrent perspective (not too diffrent from mine) but nonetheless are all going for the same goal for video games in education. Thanks for reading my not so interesting blog, and taking time out of your day to add to this "fine" discussion. Peace!
      -EPICHippos77

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  3. Hi EPICHippos77! I found your topic very intreging and loved how you were adding in casual lines like "I'm petting my cat" to make the reader feel like they were having a conversation with you instead of reading an article. I think a lot of schools are reluctant to add video games to education because of the "video games will rot your brain" message, but this article proves all the different ways that video games are improving kids health! One thing I would like to question though is how are games like skyrim relevant to history? Is there any games that they use at Nordahl Grieg Upper Secondary that you would question? - Josephine

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    1. Hey Josephine! I appreciate you taking time out of your busy day to add to this discussion. I am a very casual person on, and off the web because I feel there should be no boundries between you and a stranger. As I digress, I agree, Skyrim may not have correct data about history, and I do not think that a game like GTA (Grand Theft Auto) would be very helpful for a learning enviroment. Anyways, Thanks for your time!
      -EPICHippos77

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  4. Hello EPICHippos77, This is a very interesting topic. I enjoyed reading this article very much. I could tell that you have a very strong opinion on this topic. I also really enjoyed your candid writing style. This is an interesting take on education. I know that some schools are starting to covert to using more technology such as iPads and personal computers. It really surprised me to find out that there is a school using video games for education. I know from experience, that Portal 2 is a very challenging game that makes you think. I agree that it would be a cool take on school environments. Although I think that looking at a screen for that long could not only be damaging to eyesight, but also damaging to socializing. My favorite part about school is that when I am challenged or do not know the answer I have to turn to my classmates for help. This interaction builds a better relationship with the people around me. Do you think that being directed towards a screen during the school day could weaken these interactions? I saw this article that shows the positive and negative effects of video games and I think you would enjoy taking a look at it. Great Job!!!

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    1. Hi Prad! Thank you for your comment. I agree, socializing is a great and essential for happiness and life. I think that the electronics should be for only a select few classes, like physics. Too much of a good thing can become a bad thing, which I think is what could happen with video games in education. I attend a school with over a thousand laptops, and I find it interesting that we do not use them a lot. Anyways, Thanks for your contribution to my blog! Cheers!
      -EPICHippos77

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  5. Hi there, I think that this is a very interesting topic. I also think that video games should be incorporated into our school systems. Especially because of the way society uses technology in all sorts of different ways and places. It would be a little bit degrading for the social aspect of school and could possibly hurt the children's ability to interact in social situations. I think that socialization is a big part of our mental growth as children and also, being social helps to strengthen relationships and knowledge. I feel as if many schools will be hesitant to put video games into the education system because many believe they are addicting and potentially damaging to the brain and eyes because of the light , but since they are said to be "addicting" it may be a good way to kids in our era to learn. I found this article that may be interesting to look at for you.

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    1. Hello Elle! thanks for taking the time to comment on my post! I agree, in our time technology has become essential to living because many things are online. Moreover social life is also a big part of growing up and if there were video games in school, social life in schools would drop at a frightening rate. Thanks again for your time! Chao!
      -EPICHippos77

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  6. Hey EPICHippos77, this topic was really cool for me to read because I do play video games often in my free time so I can relate to the idea of bringing them into schools. I agree with your idea that we should allow children with different learning styles be able to use things like these in order to help them learn in a school environment. If you want to read more about this topic you should check this article out . Nice work on your blog!

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    1. Thanks for your contribution Basil! Video games are quite fun, so that could also be motivating for that group of kids who do not have an affinity for learning. No matter what happens, nothing can be perfect right? Anyways, thanks for your time! Carpe diem man!
      -EPICHippos77

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