Friday, June 11, 2010

Teaching Vaulable Skills Instead

For students, video games are a leisure activity that is not usually associated with hard work. Using video games to the classroom sends the message to students that school is moving in the direction of being a "fun" place to be, and little hard work is required. Quite opposite should be happening and the only message sent should be that if you work hard and achieve, than it is time to play and reward oneself. Many technology enthusiasts believe that video games and other tech tools teach the skills that were traditionally taught, but that is not exactly happening. For example, according to journalist Todd Oppenheimer, author of THE FLICKERING MIND
The False Promise of Technology in the Classroom and How Learning Can Be Saved, "Students actually do not need extensive computer experience to handle
technology’s challenges (employers prefer teaching most of those specific skills
themselves). What employers do look for is an extensive set of people skills: the ability to listen and communicate; to think critically and imaginatively; to read, write, and figure; and many other capabilities that schools are increasingly neglecting.”(Chapter 6, pp. 177-185.)

Traditional skills such as critical thinking, reading, writing and math are being forgotten so that shortcuts can be taken and the classroom can be "fun". Let's stick with fulfilling the purpose of schools instead of creating a new one.

Jilleen Rickard


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