Video Games May Become A New Teaching Tool
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Studies are showing that even the most graphic video games can provide lessons in critical thinking and problem solving.Researchers say it's a theory that could blow away traditional ways of teaching and learning.Assistant professor Curt Squire has been working with professors at MIT as the designer of a game depicting the Revolutionary War.The game is a historically accurate view of colonial Williamsburg.Players learn the history by taking on roles."In this particular game, I'm a gunsmith," said Squire.Squire says the game is supplemented with reading and other learning materials.It will be tested in history classes this spring as a potentially more effective way to learn.While it may seem as complicated as sophisticated video games, the concept is simple, integrating fun into learning.Which is why professors turned a once boring lab into a virtual game room, to test theories on what and how people learn best.For example, a simple Japanese-designed video game teaches the player to roll around a ball trying to pick up as many objects as possible in a limited time.The player does it, instead of hearing or reading about the skills needed to do it.The research is a game of what this could mean for teachers. It could play on the traditional role of the teacher as the sole information giver.It could possibly be an effective player in the education game of the future.Researchers say the same theories hold true in business settings. Games can also be used to teach and improve skills in the workplace.