Genius Hour Blogpost #3

I have been having so much fun researching the use of video games as educational tools! Like I said in my previous post, we are learning that not only are there tons of positives to this, but also some potential negatives.

For example, an article published in Forbes last year, provides a lot of evidence saying that video games are very helpful in education– even going as far to claim that they can make kids smarter. The author also makes a very good point that I never even stopped to consider: video games are often relatively inexpensive and accessible. In fact, Roller Coaster Tycoon and Cool Math Games are both completely free (as long as you have an internet connection). Another article we read, this one from Huffington Post, made a lot of great arguments for video games as educational tools. One of the ones I found most interesting was that video games are a very social activity. Not only can students use video games to solidify difficult concepts, but they can work on communication and interpersonal skills as well!

However, we also found quite a bit of negatives for this topic. Scientific American states that video games will never be able to do it all in terms of education. While we are focusing more on  support of already learned concepts, rather than trying to teach new ones, it is important to realize that video games have their own place in an educational system and shouldn’t be overused. The same article also discusses the lack of increased test scores or better development after using educational video games. We believe, however, that test scores aren’t always necessarily the best gauge for a child’s knowledge or full grasp of a subject. If they can figure out how to run a lemonade stand or theme park, then they understand budgeting– whether their test score shows it or not.

In order to find these articles, I chose to use Google instead of a more scholarly search engine. I believe that because they are all from large, well known sources that they are still very reliable and accurate. I chose this method because scholarly articles are often very difficult to understand and take a long time to find the information you are looking for.


Genius Hour Blog Post #2 (2/29/2016)

So far, while researching our Genius Hour Project, Kelly and I have learned a lot. One of the biggest thing we’ve learned is that there are lots of pros AND cons for using video games as educational tools. For example, video games can keep kids really engaged in what they are trying to learn. However, they also contribute even more time to the many hours these students are already spending in from top a screen. This is just one of many examples. It seems as though for every pro, there is an equally as convincing con.

The hashtags #educationgames and #funmath have led us to a lot of cool activities that will keep the kids really engaged in what they are learning. Twitter is such an awesome resource for connecting with people who are looking into the same topic.