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Why educational software isn't.

An interesting discussion: theodoregray.com/BrainRot/index.html  on why learning is intrinsically difficult, and tap-dancing frogs are a lie.

Ganked from scifiguytr 



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 27th, 2010 04:04 pm (UTC)
Theo contradicts what I've heard from other sources: that violent video games, unlike violent TV, do not affect RL behavior. Not even with modern graphics.

I'm not convinced that games are an inferior method of education. There are some subjects that kids of any age just aren't eager to learn, and I can think of no other way to motivate them than with rewards or the illusion thereof. You think elementary school teachers shouldn't put stickers next to high test scores? Or maybe they shouldn't issue tests in the first place? There goes the incentive.

At the very least, entertainment has its place in education. How much longer would it have taken for us to learn the alphabet if not for that famous song?

The article is almost eight years old. At some points, I think it shows its age already.
May. 27th, 2010 07:25 pm (UTC)
There's educational software and then there's educational software. The main thrust of the article talks about how it's easy to rely on shortcuts (such as using a calculator to do basic math). Any math program (teacher led or computer led) should include the why and how; why does 5 x 6 = 30? If the student understands the why, then rote arithmetic secondary; the student will be able to tell if an answer is reasonable or not.

Secondly, there's been a lot of discussion in the education field about using video games as a model for education. A good videogame will teach a basic skill, apply that skill, then use that basis to build on the next skill. A good lesson design follows much the same pattern. Ironically, math is one of the easier subject areas to apply this design principle to, since the sequence of skills is fairly straight forward. Other areas, such as reading or science, take a little more creative rethinking.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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