Computer games need not be just an after-school activity — it could also motivate students to learn.
The past decade has been the decade of online social networks, where Internet users could connect with each other, wherever they are.
The next decade will see the rise of what is called game dynamics.
Game dynamics has always been a part of our lives and for a long time, has been determining many of our actions that we assumed were independently and consciously made to suit our own purposes.
Petrol stations attract repeat customers by giving prizes and rewards to those who accumulate points to a certain level, using an aspect of game dynamics called Progression Dynamics.
Bars and hotels control your movements so that you are present at a certain time and at their premises in order to enjoy the benefits of happy hour, banking on Appointment Dynamics.
How can we apply game dynamics to subtlely infuse new ideas and motivations that will transform our education system?
Let’s start playing with game dynamics and discover how it could change the way students view and interact with education.
Appointment Dynamics can be used by teachers to ensure students actually revise and look through material that had been learnt in the classroom.
For example, a small window of a few hours can be given after school, during which students could SMS or email with answers to specific questions that are sent during that window.
Students will need to have access to their learning material at home in order to answer these questions.
The points derived from just participating could lead to a chance to further improve their standing on a class or school achievers list.
This is based on Collective Intelligence (CI), which harnesses the collective brain power of team members to solve problems and create novel knowledge.
This coming decade will see very innovative software taking over the roles of consultants and advisors, and providing real time, just-in-time intelligence for decision makers, based on automated CI software.
In other words, what I am talking about is not just games as an after-hours activity for students. With the right support, this powerful brain and learning-shaping tool could be brought directly into the classroom.
Just imagine, instead of teachers chasing after students and punishing, bribing, rewarding, scolding them to learn, students will be chasing after teachers to explain lesson modules that they need to understand in order to solve quests.
From a neuroscientific point of view, learning occurs best when the brain is not trying to learn.
The focus becomes the game itself, and the content mastery becomes a tool that has to be utilised for one to progress to the next level.
Even though this will sound very fishy to old-timers — who will say, “I studied with no technology and I turned out fine!” — remember, this is the 21st century.
by Dr. Theva Nithy.
Read more @ http://thestar.com.my/education/story.asp?file=/2010/9/12/education/6963533&sec=education