In response to “Game On” [Classroom Tech, March/April]: The military and other industries have used gaming to effectively teach higher-level thinking skills and decisionmaking for years. Games are ideal for engaging and teaching students if the games’ content is appropriate. Unfortunately, much of the gaming industry hasn’t caught on yet that there’s a huge market in education for curriculum-based games, and they keep cranking out morally vacuous violence and fantasy for pure entertainment. On the other hand, educators haven’t realized yet that well-designed games, contrary to stereotypes, require players to employ systematic, progressively more complex critical-thinking skills. Well-designed games also demand massive retention of multilayered facts and nuances, along with continuous decisionmaking under stress and time constraints—skills that call on intense focus and determination that we only dream of students demonstrating in a classroom!
Sharon Elin, NBCT
From the Web
A version of this article appeared in the May 01, 2007 edition of Teacher as Gaming to Learn