This is a screenshot from my iPhone of my daughter’s favourite game, Pocket Chef. She was begging me to let her play it today while I was trying to read Collins and Halverson’s Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology for our www.edbookclub.com. As I fended off her pleas while ironically reading the book’s section on the potential of video games in education, I wondered about a couple of things.
What is it about video games that seemingly make kids more resilient to challenges and adversity than in real life classroom problem solving situations?
What makes them persevere through tasks even though it can be as difficult not to burn the virtual burgers as it is to figure out ‘how much money was left in Sabrina’s wallet after going to the store at the mall’?
Why don’t we necessarily see the same resolve and self-efficacy when solving a math story problem as we do when needing to conquer, say, a virtual WWII setting?
If there are any answers to these questions, I have a feeling they are connected to Dan Meyer’s awesome TED talk on 21st Century Math Educational Reform:
As it stands right now, I am less interested in the potential for video games to deliver curriculum than I am in the secrets to motivation, feedback, and intellectual rigour they seem to conceal.
So, a couple of weeks after writing this post, I ran into Jane McGonigal’s TED talk on this very subject! Check it out: