Math Video Games Get a Boost
A new generation of video game designers has set out to transfer the determination kids show when killing mutants or stealing cars to the more wholesome pursuit of learning algebra.
Historically, school officials have been slow to take seriously something that is more often seen as a distraction, rather than a help. But that is starting to change.
Advocates argue that games teach vital skills overlooked in the age of high-stakes tests, such as teamwork, decision-making and digital literacy. And they admire the way good games challenge players just enough to keep them engaged and pushing to reach the next level.
"There is a revolution in the understanding of the educational community that video games have a lot of what we need," said Jan Plass, co-director of the Games for Learning Institute, based at New York University and funded by Microsoft to research how video games can help learning.
This week, educational games got a huge boost. Textbook giant Pearson is announcing a partnership with a little known educational video game provider called Tabula Digita. The company has designed a suite of math games, known as Dimension M, including one where students try to stop a biodigital virus from taking over the world while learning about functions and solving equations.
Pearson is going to make a version of the game available to all of its customers, essentially millions of students.
Your thoughts? Is this a promising educational trend or a blip on the screen?
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