Ever wish you could be in a classroom where video games were utilized for learning? Well that dream is a reality. During a Panel at the New York City Comic Con, I got to meet a panel of professors and teachers merging the concept of learning with video games.
The connection between games and classroom follow the same principle guidelines: rules, victory conditions/rewards, and genres. Combining these mechanisms to facilitate critical thinking and harness skills proves to create unprecise skill sets within gamers for the future. An example would be hand-eye- coordination where video games help surgeons to become more skilled in their ability to perform surgeries. With video games, their is more liberty for a player to act upon their skills sets to complete a task. This evokes a determination to seek to be better skilled in the designated task inside and outside the context of a game.
When it comes to teachers, they’re is a certain degree of over stimulus where a teacher will proceed to control students instead of letting them flourish on their own. This hinders student’s potential from manifesting on its own and eventually dwindles reinforcing their determination because they are not exceeding a teacher’s expectations. Through the use of gamification in classes, teachers like Sue Parler have proven that it works in keeping kids in school, engaged, and obtaining good grades. Sue teaches at DePaul Catholic HS in Wayne, NJ. She first started teaching Spanish, but soon after learned and began to teach Game Design. She is devoted and completely agrees that gamification in classes simply works. The school system continues to use old methods of teaching and still believe it works when it doesn’t anymore. Students these days are more interconnected and online with the use of iPhones,iPads, computers, and other tech. Connecting to kids with the same tech they are accustomed to closes the barriers for teachers to reach students. Sue not only uses gamification in classes with grades, test, and quizzes she also teaches Game Design. Sue believes that in order to stimulate students, you must use the same methods they respond to in their social environment. Since students are more tech in this generation than ever before, demanding students to follow methods that were used even 10 years ago is completely out-dated and useless.
Justin DeVoe uses gamification in under funded schools where old teaching skills are useless when combating the issues of gangs, underpaid/understaffed teachers, and lack of supplies for students. Justin uses games and guilds to bring kids not only to school but to work together coherently even if the students are in rival gangs. Justin uses methods involving video games to connect to kids and get them into schools that traditional teaching methods could not. Justin’s teaching methods were so successful, he now teaches an English class at Newark Leadership Academy, an experimental school that received donations from Mark Zuckerberg $100 million donation to help reform Newark’s struggling school system.
Most teachers like Sue and Justin are criticized and ridiculed for their attempt to divert from the traditional failed teaching methods. In order to help support these striving leaders, spread the word of their efforts. Let’s help change our school systems for the better.
Narz is CEO and Founder of Girl Gamer Vogue, writer at Gametyrant, and lead video game columnist at Knickerbocker ledger.