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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Education and video games are no longer enemies by Ann Doss Helms

"People who worried that the technology boom would lead to kids playing video games in class were right" reports Ann Doss Helms.


In North Carolina and around the country, students are playing such games as Minecraft, World of Warcraft and Angry Birds – and their teachers are encouraging it.
“Video games are not the great evil that people make them out to be,” says Trish Cloud, technology instructor at Huntersville’s Torrence Creek Elementary, where she created a popular Minecraft club.
Cloud is part of a community of educators who love gaming and want to share that passion to help students learn. Those educators say that good video games can help students develop an array of skills – from writing and physics to teamwork and problem-solving.

Learning in Azeroth

Gillispie, 37, grew up playing computer games. He enjoys talking with his high school students about gaming, and it was a student who introduced him to online role-playing games such as World of Warcraft, often known as WoW...

Virtual Legos

Enter Minecraft, a game that pops players into various environments and requires them to construct shelter from roving “creepers,” spiders and zombies. There’s also a creative mode that lets players build without attacks...

Angry algebra

The best games, whether digital or physical, motivate players to master skills, says Tim Chartier, an associate professor of math at Davidson College. Classroom math, on the other hand, can seem painfully abstract...

Valerie Truesdale, who recently took CMS’ top technology job, says she’s fine with the array of alternatives to the traditional chain of communication.
“I think that digital learning and mobile devices are shaking up how everybody learns,” she said. “It’s all-the-time, everywhere learning. Everybody’s a teacher, and everybody’s a learner.”
Read more...  

Related links
World of Warcraft (from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).
Blog: Algebra in Angry Birds
Video: Using WoW in school
Video: Using Minecraft in school

Source: Charlotte Observer