Learning by Playing: Video Games in the Classroom

11/18/12 | by Training Games | Categories: Play

Our previous blog regarding the use of video games for higher education reminded us of an article we published in our newsletter several months ago,  Sara Corbett's article regarding Quest to Learn's video game curriculum.  Understanding that most kids today were raised interacting with technology, it just makes sense that using that same technology to teach them may hold their interest rather than forcing them into traditional classrooms.  Read Sara's article in The New York Times Magazine.

18 Graduate Programs Embracing Games”

11/08/12 | by Training Games | Categories: Play

Kaitlyn Cole, who works with Onlineuniversities.com, sent us an article they recently published, "“18 Graduate Programs Embracing Games." After we read it, we agreed with her that, "....we think (the article) clicks with the tone of your site and the passions of your readers." The article confirms that, as we know, many K-12 students use video games for learning. However, they found many higher education programs are now using games to teach students how to be teachers, doctors and business people. Find out which programs are having success by reading this very interesting article.

Thanks, Kaitlyn, for contributing to our blog!

Read the article in Onlineuniversities.com/blog

For a Healthy Brain, Physical Exercise Trumps Mental Workouts

11/04/12 | by Training Games | Categories: Play

Link: http://www.livescience.com/24180-physical-exercise-boosts-brain-health.html

We found an interesting article that provides evidence that physical exercise is better for brain health than mental exercise. The brain imaging study discussed showed that physical exercise protected the brain from shrinking, the cause of memory and thinking problems; while social and mental stimulation  had no affect on preventing brain shrinkage.

Read Christopher Wanjek's Bad Medicine column for the full article.

Our Brains Use Sensory Experiences to Produce Genius New Ideas

10/26/12 | by Training Games | Categories: Play
Want to come up with great new ideas?

You have to learn more about more things, says trends analyst Cecily Sommers, writing on FastCompany.com.

To increase our creativity, she says, we need to be “routinely introducing new information, people, settings, sensations, and experiences in order to expand our databank of memories”:

“In this way, we create more flexible and varied mental models that our brains can use to fill in the blanks of the future. With a richer store of memories, we are able to imagine a vast range of possibilities, appreciate the web of factors affecting a given issue, and make more of the associative links that prompt consideration of different scenarios. This is your best defense against—and preparation for—unforeseen events and opportunities that will likely impact your business.

Whether you’re looking for the next big idea or a fresh perspective, solving an innovation challenge, or hunting for an emerging technology, market, or business model to invest in, it is absolutely essential that you begin by immersing yourself in new material. New research, new disciplines, new sources, new experiences, new inputs, new approaches. It’s this simple: To have an authentically new idea, you must begin with new inputs. If you don’t, you can—truly—do no better than produce another version of what you already know.

The big payoff is what happens when new information collides with established memories. As your brain tries to make sense of the incoming data, it looks around for what’s familiar, linking the new to the old. And suddenly your perspective changes: That’s the moment of ‘Aha! I’ve never seen it that way before!’ indeed you haven’t. Without the new input and the new synaptic connections it stimulates, there’s no physical way that you could have seen it that way before.

You see, the much-coveted Aha! is the result of a mental mash-up. If you understand that a neurological collage is what makes insights pop, you can be intentional in how you embed insight-generation into the design of your problem-solving process.”

Find the complete article in Business Insider

Game-Based Learning for the Corporate World

10/15/12 | by Training Games | Categories: Play

We all grew up playing games that taught us even if we didn't realize it - Yahtzee, Scrabble, Clue - math, spelling, problem solving. In Julie Brinks article, Game-Based Learning for the Corporate World, the Director of viaLearning provides some interesting statistics as to which generations are gaming and the types of subjects that can be taught using games.

For example, did you know that the average gamer is 37 years old? That 42% of all players are women? And that 29% of game players are over the age of 50? As Brinks states, "These statistics will help us shape how new delivery trends in training content are emerging. Adults like to play games, so let's help them learn while doing so."

"Research has shown that gaming, in the right context, can be just as, if not more, effective than traditional e-learning. It improves problem-solving, creativity, risk assessment, and risk taking. Gaming also supports B.F. Skinner's Behavioral Theory: that behavior is a function of its consequences. As in real life, when most people have a negative consequence to something they do, they don't do it again. In gaming it's the same concept: You go through that particular door and fall down an elevator shaft and lose the game…are you going to do that again? Probably not."

Several reasons games are an effective learning tool is because they use multiple intelligences; are immersive, engaging and motivating; provide an active learning environment and use storytelling. Sure, there are some topics that should not be taught using a gaming format such as serious personnel topics. But for the most part, technology, sales skills, product features, and other topics are perfect for game-based training.

Don't be fooled into thinking that only younger generations can and would enjoy learning through games. Brinks sites additional statistics that the largest consumer of games is 37 years old and 42% of those are women. There is a very broad audience base out there and almost unlimited topics that can be taught through games. Wouldn't you rather play a game in your next training session?

Julie Brink, Director, viaLearning
Find the complete article in Training Magazine

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