Gaming classrooms a glimpse of the future?

New research group examines gaming in school

You've heard of the award winning teacher that uses the Myst games to get his classes thinking laterally and working as a team, and we today learn that as many as 59% of UK teachers would consider using games in the classroom, one-third of these people having already done so. The findings emerged from a MORI poll, which was commissioned by games publisher EA and educational software developers NESTA Futurelab, as part of research project Teaching with Games. 91% of all teachers saw benefits to educational gaming, whilst 60% thought games-playing could encourage thinking and enhance knowledge of particular subjects.

The research project in question aims to explore the practical side of using games as a teaching aid in the classroom, in particular using The Sims 2, Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 and Knights of Honour. The researchers behind Teaching with Games will next work with teachers to produce lesson plans utilising the titles, and for once we're sure kids won't mind being the guinea pigs. A 'Futures Group' has also been formed, looking at possible paths forward in the light of the research group's findings.

"There is a great deal of interest in the levels of engagement, and the complex learning, that take place when many young people play games. Early research has shown some powerful outcomes in the classroom, but we need to understand how, when and when not to use games to support education. The Teaching with Games project aims to shed some light on these questions in a way that will be of use to teachers and designers," commented Angela McFarlane of the Futures Group, and Bristol University.

More on this interesting study as we get it.


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