How Games Help Teachers

YouTube channel Extra Credits publishes a weekly video taking a deeper look at games: how they are made, what they mean and how we can make them better. This week they explored how games can help teachers and put together a very neat animation on how responsive learning can impact education. Take a look!

We all agree that state standards and set curriculum have their pros and cons. The video touches on why they are there in the first place. Why they can be challenging to individualised learning. And how games could help manufacture a solution.

We have to create a standard curriculum for everyone and this is in many ways fantastic. It helps ensure that all schools are teaching up to a baseline level. It allows teachers to share ideas about curriculum nationwide. It creates a standard set of knowledge that colleges and universities can then build from. But it’s not right for everyone. In fact you can pretty much guarantee that it’s not perfectly right for anyone. And this is especially important in education as often when you hear someone say something like I’m not good at math, it’s not that they aren’t good at math, but rather that at some point in their education some part of the curriculum didn’t make sense to them and they got left behind.

By no means a simple task, the video suggests that this is a mindset challenge rather than a technical challenge.

When we stop thinking on the scale of entertainment and start considering the size of the public school system an endeavour like this, while by no means trivial, becomes completely reasonable.

Should we have games in school? Well, yes of course. We have for hundreds of years. But could ‘video’ games and the big data behind them really change the way we educate?

So when someone asks you why we should have games in schools, beyond making them more engaging, you can tell your interlocutor that games allow us to provide teachers with incredible amounts of data to work with. To better understand the learning needs of the children in their care. And that games, if we were willing to push for doing it, could allow us to automatically adjust assignments on the fly. They could allow us to serve the needs of each and every school child individually rather than having to hope that our universal standard works for them.

How do you feel about games being used for adaptive learning? Do you see it happening in mainstream education any time soon? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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