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Six reasons for educational change

by Horst Streck on 11/22/12 09:50:00 am

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The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
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Knowledge is the biggest value humans have and still we let our educational system go down the drain. A lot of talk, no change! We need to understand that change is needed to improve education. The solution lies beyond the knowledge of teachers. Gamification can change this landscape and improve the system. But it will only
work if it is done right! Start building high quality educational games. Apply gamification as a shell around those games. Teachers need to write down (or gather) what pupils need to learn, nothing more, nothing less. A professional gamifier with high level experience in game development should get involved and create a concept that works, of course based on the information that teachers provide. The games that are used for educational purposes should be developed by high end game developers. It is the quality that is needed to be successful. Let them do their thing. The young generation play games like Call of Duty, Fifa 2012, Heavy Rain, GTA, etcetera. Now without giving my  judgment about the nature of these games, there is no doubt they are of high quality. Educational games have to compete with these games to gain the interest of young people. The main key to success: “provide high quality educational games!”

  Six reasons to change traditional education:

1. The current system is highly inefficient. Teachers have to tell the same stuff over and over again if they teach in front of a class. Recording the lessons is much more efficient and teachers can use their valuable time for gaining knowledge. The best performing teachers (which can be measured) will be recorded. Turning lessons into a game is even better.

2. Modern education is better for the environment. Transport from home to school can be reduced, because more can be done from home. The number of schoolbooks will reduce, they will be digitalized, or turned into educational games.

3. Digitalizing schoolbooks, fuel savings, smaller schools, and so on will be cost effective, which is important these days.

4. Quality will improve. Since more can be done in less time, teachers can use this time to gain more knowledge and provide support to those who need it. Exceptional students can get more attention. Lessons will be presented by the best performing teachers. Do not cut down teachers! Their role will change, but they are of great value.

5. Learning will be fun. If education is gamified pupils (that game a lot privately) are going to embrace it. It will drive participation and engagement. They will even push each other. Pupils will become little innovators, inventors even during their study, because a good system will connect knowledge in a way that pushes results.

6. A new grading method will be much more rewarding. Start from zero and gain points with every progress a pupil makes. That way they are improving as they go along and will achieve a grade that fits their competence. Instead of aiming for an A+, which a pupil probably won’t reach, even after months of hard work. In other words: starting with an A+ which only can become lower. Not very motivating in my book.

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