One day computerÂ games will largely replace teachers for most education and allÂ students will be educated way beyond our wildest dreams. And I don’t mean games as in Grand Theft Auto. I mean games as in a genre (or genres)Â that can still only be dreamed about. And I don’t mean educational software, I mean educational games.
Computer game learning has several advantages over human teacher learning:
- Each student can learn at their own pace, not at the pace of the slowest in the class.
- Each student would be continually monitored, so no daydreaming or doodling.
- The technical advantages of computingÂ such asÂ sound, moving pictures and interactivity would impart knowledge much more quickly than current means.
- Sophisticated gaming reward systems will incentivise students to a far higher level.
- They will be connected to pretty much all human knowledge.
- Non linear learning methods, which games can use, are far closer to our natural learning process so far more efficient.
- Connectivity will allow the whole class to inter-relate as a social community as part of the learning process.
What is really exciting is that we are, at last, starting to move in the right direction. Brain Age has removed the scales from people’s eyes. It has scratched the surface of showing the potential of this genre of games. But it is still very simple compared with what is to come.
So have the scales been removed from your eyes, or is this all wishfull thinking? Let us know by leaving a comment.
Education’s always a touchy subject. If it were imparted through technological means such as the ones you’ve described, there would be a fear that the students weren’t spending enough time learning about building relationships, as is a must when immersed in the social structure of a teacher-led classroom. Particularly, the teacher-student relationship wouldn’t be as evident, or be missing.
While I believe the possibility that games and electronic means could certainly one day replace our current means of education (particularly if they’re ‘dream games’), but if they don’t strongly incorporate Freiran education, I believe that they will never be able to surpass our current educational services.
In addition, for this to be at all possible, schools will need to be far more organized than today’s, and have more budget at their disposal to constantly fix and update machines without falling behind as far educational software and hardware are concerned.
And finally, a lot of testing will be needed on the effects of these machines on children, because if all they learn is games, well, they may come to view the world that way unless the programs are well enough developed to address the issue. Again, education is a touchy subject, and I can’t say whether games (even ‘dream games’) educating our children would be good or bad, but it would be different, and often change is all you need to upset people.
If you haven’t done so already, please read Paulo Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”. It’s a great book that deals primarily with the ways in which children are educated and the effects that it has on their views of reality. Here’s a link to chapter two, which is a critical part of the book: http://www.webster.edu/~corbetre/philosophy/education/freire/freire-2.html
Pablo, thanks for your input.
I think that games could ultimately provide a better social framework for a class than a teacher can. This would be by taking elements from current social networking sites and MMOs as a basis to develop powerful social environments in which the whole class could be interacting at the same time.
Schools are an interesting concept, would they still even be necessary?
I will certainly read your link when I have caught up with things after my trip. Many thanks for pointing me in this direction.
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