I really wish we had some empirical scientific readings for this week. James Paul Gee has some great references in his introduction ( love Pinker’s 1999 article in the New York Academy of Sciences), but they were all pretty out of date and cognitive psychology has come a long way since the early 2000s. I don’t know anything about gaming, so it’s difficult for me to evaluate if any of Gee’s hypotheses about the future of video games have come to fruition.
Luckily, there are a whole bunch of recent articles testing his hypotheses about learning in video games:
Unsworth, N., Redick, T. S., McMillan, B. D., Hambrick, D. Z., Kane, M. J., & Engle, R. W. (2015). Is playing video games related to cognitive abilities?.Psychological science, 26(6), 759-774.
Green, C. S., & Bavelier, D. (2015). Action video game training for cognitive enhancement. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 4, 103-108.
Theng, Y. L., Lee, J. W., Patinadan, P. V., & Foo, S. S. (2015). The use of videogames, gamification, and virtual environments in the self-management of diabetes: A systematic review of evidence. Games for health journal, 4(5), 352-361.
Video games for managing diabetes? What?!
In a somewhat related note, I am currently working on a project using an augmented reality system and neurofeedback to improve emotion recognition in people with autism. I don’t know the first thing about the augmented reality part, but apparently the motivation is that by making it more like a game, our participants will be more invested in the intervention. I’m interested to see if and how it works!
Also slightly related to the Carrie article, I did model UN in college and it really reminded me of the Reacting to the Past method he talked about. I love the competition and team aspect, but I learned a lot about geopolitics and history from doing MUN. I would definitely be interested in learning more about this method (especially quantitative analysis of its effectiveness!).
I think there is a fine line between engaging students and putting on a show for them. My worry with these types of “learner centered processes” are that they put the onus of the student’s engagement on the teacher and not the student. I very much believe that if a student is not ready to tackle classes with fervor that they should take some time off until they see the benefit of taking a class.
Sims, Freddie Fish, and Pajama Sam. Classics.