X-boxes in the Classroom, Really?


Todays blog continues the Digital Games and Kids series with a story of using popular X-box games in the classroom.

This short video is a great exerpt from Good Games Spawn Point , the Australian Broadcasting Corporations’s kids show that  reviews new games out.  This segment features  an interview with Head Science Teacher Alice Leung, who uses X-box games in the classroom.  She uses games like Formula 1, Sonic and Sega All Stars as tools to assist with learning Maths, Logic and Teamwork. Xbox educational using popular games?

She finds that the games really motivate the kids because they really like playing them.  Some of the things that the kids themselves say about these classes are they are ‘fun’. They ‘learn better because kids behave and participate better’, and its ‘fun and really fair.’

Alice Leung, the teacher explains that the games are good for teaching new concepts.  ‘With games, the kids are less fearful’ …’less shy’, ‘it’s OK to have a go’, and its ‘ok to fail playing a game’.  To me that’s an enormous barrier to overcome with learning – kids accepting themselves that they can take a risk and try something out – and its ok to make a mess of it.  It also fits perfectly with an inquiry approach to learning.

‘We see kids really having fun and learning’. Alice says.  Other teachers in the school are trying it out also.  Apparently the history teachers are experimenting with Age of Empires (my husband’s favourite game).

What I found really interesting is the creative ways Alice uses the games.  The main example in the video is using racing games like Formula 1 and Sonic, to test out whether talking on a mobile phone (cell phone) while driving, impairs the ability to drive.  Just a brilliant use of a game.  With approaches like that to the use of gaming in the classroom, it seems there can be endless benefitsscreenshot94 (and not a piece of broccoli) or hint of the game being ‘educational’ in sight.  I wonder how these types of uses of gaming fit into the research?

I’d really like to hear of any other examples of using games for learning in this type of fashion – either in the classroom, or with home schooling.

Tune in to the next blog – just one for the week-end on ‘The games race – Gaming proliferation in the cupboard.’

Yesterday’s blog, ‘Is it game over, Princess? looked at some of the research on gaming and whether there are educational benefits.




Author: Janis Hanley

Janis Hanley creates education programs for museums. She has a strong interest in digital engagement. Her programs have received several Queensland National Trust awards. Janis is the Queensland representative of the Museums Australia Education committee, and founder/coordinator of MAEdQ - a Queensland Network for Museum Educators . Janis is currently researching the value of digital story telling in community museums.

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