Games are increasingly recognized by educators as a way to get kids excited about learning. While the stereotype of a “gamer” may evoke the image of a high school boy holed up in a dark room playing on a console, in reality 62 percent of gamers play with other people either in person or online, and 47 percent of all gamers are girls.
Game developers and academics who have been studying the elements that go into making games more attractive to girls found that those very same qualities are also important components of learning. For instance, girls are more drawn to games that require problem solving in context, that are collaborative (played through social media) and that produce what’s perceived to be a social good. They also like games that simulate the real word and are particularly drawn to “transmedia” content that draws on characters from books, movies, or toys.
Read more: Girls and Games: What’s the Attraction? | MindShift.
No one was standing in front of an eighth-grade math class at St. Mary of the Hills School, but fractions were slowly appearing in colored chalk, as if written by the invisible hand of a ghost. The voice of an unseen narrator emanated from speakers on both sides of the smartboard, explaining the equation step by step.
While students sat quietly in their seats, listening to this virtual instructor solve the math problem, their real-life math teacher, Marianne Ruggiero, walked around the classroom with her arms folded, peering down at them as they scribbled notes with pencils into spiral-bound notebooks and tapped the keyboards of laptop computers.
Next, the students began working on problems themselves. With a few touches on her iPad screen, Ruggiero checked how students were doing on a particular problem and spotted who was struggling.
The math lesson that the students were watching on the smartboard was an online video that served as a virtual teaching assistant, allowing Ruggiero to monitor students’ classwork more closely, and provide one-on-one help if needed.
[Is anything like this happening in your class? Tell us in the comments]
Read More: Rebooting math class, one video at a time – South – The Boston Globe.