Friday, August 5, 2011
Computer Games Chapter 2
I am combining ideas from Jesse and myself in this post as he is away on vacation with spotty internet access.
Chapter 2 discussed using a computer game, digital zoo, to help students put their problem solving skills to use. The study discussed analyzed what the students learned through this game and how they learned it. I found it most interesting that the retention of the information was increased. It seemed that because the students were using their own discovery processes the information was more personal to them. I really liked how the process encouraged them to make mistakes and to learn and grown from those experiences. It was interesting how the point was made that in a simulation environment all students bring their own ideas and experiences to the environment and the game provides the, "framework in which we make sense of what happens when we interact with the simulation." (69) I think this is why these experiences are so powerful. We have the framework that helps us connect and build our understanding.
Jesse noticed the following in chapter 2:
I don't think that, most teachers, are the problem. I believe that most teacher's are aware of the "factory" style education that is continuously employed but are pitted against mandates for standardized achievement indicators, and cost cutting administrators/school boards. Socialization is still a major component of education. Teacher's would love to employ strategies such as presented in sodaconstruction, however are faced with parameters that make this a challenge. I also question some of the research that was presented. The sample size seemed very small, and though the group was composed of "disadvantaged" students, there seemed to be degree of motivation. Lev Vygotsky, referenced in the book also developed the concept of Zone of Proximal Development, where students learn when new concepts are neither too simple, resulting in boredom, nor to difficult, resulting in frustration. Non of the students reported reached a frustration point, which I find to be unrealistic. Surely, there are plenty of students who would be disengaged by the projects because of the difficulty involved. While I see lots of merit in the programs that were discussed, I can also see how these computer simulations have replaced labs and experiments that demonstrate the same concepts. In short, I don't think its the technology that will advance teaching, I think it is the ingenuity of the teacher.
Posted by Ms. T at 12:31 AM