Reading, Writing and Video Games - NYTimes.com
[MSFT] April 2013 Student Privacy Workshop 2013-03-21
Technologists aim for educational games that are “immersive” and “relevant,” “experiential” and “authentic,” “collaborative” and “fulfilling” — adjectives that could easily apply to constructing an art project out of found objects. It’s easy to foresee a future in which teachers try to unpeel children from their screens in order to bring them back to such hands-on, “real world” experiences. To renew their “focus.” “Imagine if kids poured their time and passion into a video game that taught them math concepts while they barely noticed, because it was so enjoyable,” Bill Gates said last year. Do we want children to “barely notice” when they develop valuable skills? Not to learn that hard work plays a role in that acquisition? It’s important to realize early on that mastery often requires persevering through tedious, repetitive tasks and hard-to-grasp subject matter. How’s this for a radical alternative? Let children play games that are not educational in their free time. Personally, I’d rather my children played Cookie Doodle or Cut the Rope on my iPhone while waiting for the subway to school than do multiplication tables to a beep-driven soundtrack. Then, once they’re in the classroom, they can challenge themselves. Deliberate practice of less-than-exhilarating rote work isn’t necessarily fun but they need to get used to it — and learn to derive from it meaningful reward, a pleasure far greater than the record high score.