Harvard Scholar Sees Games as the Future of Education

September 8, 2009 -

School kids may not have to hide their PSPs under their desks for much longer.

Recently, noted game designer Will Wright (The Sims, Spore) interviewed Harvard Professor Edward O. Wilson (left) on NPR’s Open Mic segment and asked if he saw a role for video games in the educational process. Here's what Wilson had to say:

I'll go to an even more radical position. I think games are the future in education. We're going through a rapid transition now. We're about to leave print textbooks behind. For example, I envision visits to different ecosystems that the student could actually enter – taking this path, going to that hill – with an instructor. That could be a rain forest, a tundra, or a Jurassic forest...

 

When children went out in Paleolithic times, they went with adults – they learned everything they needed to learn by participating in the process.

Wilson sees the virtual experiences of video games as a way to help motivate kids to go out and learn by having real experiences. Check out the whole audio interview right here.

Via: GoNintendo

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Senior Correspondent Andrew Eisen


Comments

Re: Harvard Scholar Sees Games as the Future of Education


 

 

Glad to see someone think video game can be helpful.  I wonder what the reaction from video game hating whistleblowers will say about this guy.

 

"This guy happens to support Murder Simulator, quit mark him as Enemy of the state"

 

Re: Harvard Scholar Sees Games as the Future of Education

AE: Please don't prefix every post with three carriage returns.  Thanks.

Re: Harvard Scholar Sees Games as the Future of Education

The interactive element can be helpfull.


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Re: Harvard Scholar Sees Games as the Future of Education

I only learned anything that I recall from two games.

Oregon Trail

Mega Ten's Demon/Persona Compendium. (The games were not even intended to educational!)

Re: Harvard Scholar Sees Games as the Future of Education

You must have been playing the wrong games, 'cos there are tons of games out there that can teach a lot.  Rome: Total War for example.  The Silent Hunter series, Flight Simulator, Chessmaster, The Political Machine.  I mean if anyone plays any of those games they'd have to work really hard at not picking up any learning.

I'm not suggesting that these games are completely serious teaching tools, but the guy's point is that games CAN be used to teach, and that's certainly true.  In fact games teach better than any other method, which is why all animals (with the notable exception of humans, who seem to think that boring lectures are better) learn by playing.

And by the way, Oregon Trail WAS intended to be educational.  The Wikipedia article on the game says "The game was inspired by the real-life Oregon Trail and was designed to teach school children about the realities of 19th century pioneer life on the trail.".

Re: Harvard Scholar Sees Games as the Future of Education

You have died of dysentery.

 
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Andrew EisenHeh, just had our (IGN's) journalistic integrity called into question over a couple typos.07/01/2015 - 6:08pm
Matthew Wilson@tech this isnt the only stupid tax in recent months though. they were adding a commuter tax as well. if they continue doing crap like this, they will run in to the same issues as Detroit.07/01/2015 - 5:34pm
TechnogeekI guess we can give Chicago credit for diversifying their portfolio of corruption, although they've still got a lot of work before they retake that crown from Louisiana.07/01/2015 - 5:29pm
TechnogeekEh, cities abusing taxation power for their own game isn't really a "Detroit" thing so much as a "corrupt small town" thing.07/01/2015 - 5:29pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/07/chicago-netflix-customers-your-bill-is-about-to-up-9-percent/ Chicago wants to become the new Detroit so be it.07/01/2015 - 4:58pm
InfophileAnd also, she said "anyone," but she also said "probably." This means there's a subset for whom the "you shouldn't write it" doesn't apply.07/01/2015 - 4:47pm
InfophileGoing back a bit: "As I believe there is no justification, there is no reason for me to continue reading." - One reason to read might be to find out if you're wrong about there being no justification for it.07/01/2015 - 4:45pm
Andrew EisenRead it here: http://www.zenofdesign.com/getting-diversity-to-speak/07/01/2015 - 4:42pm
Andrew EisenFormer Bioware dev, Damion Schubert, offers an interesting thought on diversity in the industry. Not only is it important to have, it's important to make sure they feel comfortable offering their perspective.07/01/2015 - 4:40pm
Andrew EisenHeh, I did consider it!07/01/2015 - 4:37pm
Craig R.Aww, video gamer players wasn't an option for the poll?07/01/2015 - 4:33pm
KaylaKazeI think the problem here is certain people don't know what "shouldn't" means, even after it's been explained to them half a dozen times.07/01/2015 - 4:19pm
Andrew EisenWhat if creators heard our feedback, agreed with it and then... oh god... made a better show? The HORROR!!!07/01/2015 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenI mean, next thing you know they'll make a YouTube video. A YOUTUBE VIDEO!!!07/01/2015 - 4:07pm
Andrew EisenHow DARE anyone write an opinion suggesting that people who suck at something might consider a better way to accomplish the same thing or improve so they suck less. The NERVE!07/01/2015 - 4:06pm
Goth_SkunkYes, but we complain about it amongst ourselves, we shake our heads, we sigh, shrug our shoulders and say 'oh well, what can you do?' We don't write articles for Wired and say 'Anyone can write about X, but should they? Probably not.'07/01/2015 - 3:57pm
Andrew EisenMy favorite is: "Zoom and enhance!"07/01/2015 - 3:55pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, you must not hang out with many technology experts. We complain about bad portrayals of tech all the time.07/01/2015 - 3:52pm
Andrew EisenPeople should be free to write about anything their little hearts desire. Even if they suck at it. Maybe not the most advisable thing to do, depending on their personal goals. But that's why you listen and learn and improve! Or try to, anyway.07/01/2015 - 3:50pm
Andrew EisenAnd you're straying from the path a bit but the sentiment in and of itself I agree with.07/01/2015 - 3:47pm
 

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