Neurology finds that video games are good for your brain
Dr. Mark Griffiths summarizes recent research on video games and the brain;
“…there is now a wealth of research which shows that video games can be put to educational and therapeutic uses, as well as many studies which reveal how playing video games can improve reaction times and hand-eye co-ordination. For example, research has shown that spatial visualization ability, such as mentally rotating and manipulating two- and three-dimensional objects, improves with video game playing.
To add to this long line of studies demonstrating the more positive effects of video games is a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Vikranth Bejjanki and colleagues. Their newly published paper demonstrates that the playing of action video games – the sort of fast-paced, 3D shoot-em-up beloved of doomsayers in the media – confirms what other studies have revealed, that players show improved performance in perception, attention, and cognition.”
To read the full article from The Conversation click here;
Mastering Math with Your Body by Using Kinect for Windows
Here is new research to challenge the notion that video games have to be mindless and sedentary.
A new study reveals how students can learn geometry through movement using the Kinect for Windows.
“Carmen Petrick Smith, assistant professor of mathematics education (second from left), works with undergraduate education majors on movements that are used to help elementary school children learn geometry (credit: Andy Duback)
University of Vermont assistant professor of mathematics education Carmen Petrick Smith has found in a study that elementary school students who interacted with a Kinect for Windows mathematics program while learning geometry showed significant gains in the understanding of angles and angle measurements…
Smith and her research team engaged 30 third- and fourth-grade students in a series of tasks that involved moving their arms to form angles projected on a large Kinect screen.
The screen changed colors when the students’ arms formed acute, right, obtuse and straight angles. A protractor helped students measure and refine their movements. Students were asked to figure out the hidden rules that made each of the four colors appear on the screen.”
– from http://www.kurzweilai.net/mastering-math-through-movement-using-kinect-for-windows
- Carmen Petrick Smith, Barbara King, Jennifer Hoyte. Learning angles through movement: Critical actions for developing understanding in an embodied activity. The Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 2014; 36: 95 DOI: 10.1016/j.jmathb.2014.09.001
Learning angles through movement:
Critical actions for developing understanding in an embodied activity
Pre- and post-tests showed gains in understanding of angle and angle measurement.
Connections between physical and abstract representations can support learning.
Exploring a variety of physical representations is associated with learning.
Connections between movements and personal experiences can support learning.
Angle instruction often begins with familiar, real-world examples of angles, but the transition to more abstract ideas can be challenging. In this study, we examine 20 third and fourth grade students completing a body-based angle task in a motion-controlled learning environment using the Kinect for Windows. We present overall pre- and post-test results, showing that the task enhanced learners’ developing ideas about angles, and we describe two case studies of individual students, looking in detail at the role the body plays in the learning process. We found that the development of a strong connection between the body and the abstract representation of angle was instrumental to learning, as was exploring the space and making connections to personal experiences. The implications of these findings for developing body-based tasks are discussed.
- Embodied cognition;
- Motion-controlled technology”
– From http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0732312314000522
Faculty Biography | Carmen Petrick Smith
Carmen Petrick Smith, Ph.D.
Carmen Petrick Smith is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Vermont. She received her Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from the University of Texas at Austin where she studied the effects of embodied actions on learning geometry. Her research interests center on embodied cognition, games for learning, and STEM education. She is also a former high school mathematics teacher, and in addition to her work in education, she can solve a Rubik’s cube, is a former Guinness World Record holder for dancing the Thriller, and won the 2008 O. Henry Pun-Off World Championships.
A majority of K-8 Teachers Use Digital Games for Instruction
Games and Learning report that;
“A national survey of nearly 700 U.S. K-8 teachers conducted by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and the Games and Learning Publishing Council reveals that almost three-quarters of K-8 teachers are using digital games for instruction. Four out of five of those teachers report that their students play games at school at least once a month.
In his introduction to the critical survey of classrooms GLPC Chair Milton Chen observed:
Two fundamental findings should capture the attention of all educators, developers, funders, and policymakers: a majority of teachers are using digital games in their classrooms, and games are increasingly played on mobile devices that travel with their students.
Level Up Learning: A National Survey of Teaching with Digital Games by Lori M. Takeuchi and Sarah Vaala reports that teachers who use games more often found greater improvement in their students’ learning across subject
areas. However, the study also reveals that only 42% of teachers say that games have improved students’ science learning (compared to 71% in math), despite research suggesting that games are well suited for teaching complex scientific concepts.
- Download the full report from the Games and Learning Publishing Council
- To read the full article from Games and Learning click here;
areas.”However, the study also reveals that only 42% of teachers say that games have improved students’ science learning (compared to 71% in math), despite research suggesting that games are well suited for teaching complex scientific concepts.
The death of ‘Gamification’ – the birth of ‘Games and learning’.
Michael John writes that;
“…as a game designer, it was painful to listen to the education world talk about gamification as if it was a special sauce that can be applied to any existing task in order to improve performance. As a practitioner of game design, I know that this special sauce just does not exist, especially when it comes to K-12 learning.
Though this frustrating craze led to a proliferation of interactive drill games that incorporate gamification-style scoring and reward systems, we need to move beyond this, to a better definition and understanding of how digital games can impact student learning.
Rather than looking at “gamification of learning” as a process that’s applied to curricula to make school more interesting, we should recognize that learning at its best already has game-like elements that are latent and waiting to be unlocked.”
To read Michael John’s full article at Techcrunch click here;
Women significantly outnumber teenage boys in gamer demographics
, of PBS writes that;
“Adult female gamers have unseated boys under the age of 18 as the largest video game-playing demographic in the U.S., according to a recently published study from the Entertainment Software Association, a trade group focused the U.S. gaming industry.”
To read the full article at PBS click here;
Gaming and learning in a Pennsylvania school.
From WQED Learning Innovation;
“Students at Propel Braddock Hills High School may appear to be playing games on their computers, but what they’re actually doing is enhancing their learning. English, civics, math, shop, art, science and engineering teachers all incorporate gaming into their curriculum, making learning fun — and accessible — to their students.”
California School Integrates Games and Learning
From PBS – News Hour
EdGamer Celebrates Three Years of PodCasting about Games and Learning!
Congratulations Zach and Gerry, keep up the good work!
From the EdGamer show notes;
EdGamer 129: Our 3 Year Manniversary
This week on EdGamer 129 we celebrate our 3 year manniversasy! Relive all the good times from our past as we go through our favorite shows and guests. We have 128 shows and we have learned so much from our work, our guests, and our FOE’s (friends of EdGamer). Tune-in and level-up!
Olympic Snowboarding Cross
our favorite episodes…
An Open Letter to STEAM: If You Build It, ED Will Come
Minecraft Episodes – Joel Levin
EdGamer 86: Jeremiah McCall and the Learning Games Network
EdGamer 81: John Hunter Brings Us World Peace
EdGamer 74: Magicians – A Language Learning RPG
Show Host: Zack Gilbert
Show Contributor/Producer: Gerry James
To browse the EdGamer archives click here;