Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Gaming No Game to Educators

Education experts today see gaming as an potential tool to increase student engagement. I look no further than my 10-year-old daughter as proof.

Having just spent the last 30 minutes of a drive home reading her assigned book, she closed it and went directly for her iPod to play some subway surfing thing. I asked why she would stop reading when we had another 15 minutes to go before reaching home. She shot back that her eyes were tired and she was falling asleep, unable to concentrate on the book. Yet she had no trouble obtaining her high score in the subway game.

The evolution of education is quickly following the evolution of publishing. In order to capture and hold the focus of students today, there must be more interaction than mere words on pages. Students need video, analytics, and interaction.

It should be no surprise that electronic educational materials have quickly gone from simple PDFs of printed pages to entire suites of adaptive learning products, which can include video games that use specific learning objectives in which students perform actions.

And they are not all games specifically designed for education. Some teachers are encouragingstudents to play Minecraft, World of Warcraft, and even Angry Birds as part of the learning environment.

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