By Eric Klopfer
An summary of cellular studying video games that argues for the academic benefits of hand held video games over their big-screen opposite numbers.
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Extra resources for Augmented Learning: Research and Design of Mobile Educational Games
But before proceeding into those chapters I’d like to contextualize my arguments for the use of handheld games in learning with these observations: Handheld games are not a panacea. While I believe that handheld games afford great potential for learning, and are particularly well suited to address some of the issues previously outlined in a way that is both compatible with current schools and capable of changing them, handhelds are not the silver bullet to save education. They can, however, play an important role.
Over the last several years the top games have included Oregon Trail, Math Blaster, and Number Munchers. The chosen games are targeted roughly at the middle grades. My undergraduate students would have been in those grades in the late 1990s or 2000. For those of you who don’t know these games, they were originally released in the early to mid-1980s, or about fifteen years before my students played those games (and remembered them as the best of the era). There are several explanations for why they remembered these particular educational games.
To the contrary, we find that use of the label often motivates the unmotivated student, and intrigues the motivated student in a new way. These experiences are often cited in end-of-year evaluations as having been memorable and motivational. In short, they can be both ‘‘games’’ and ‘‘productive’’ at the same time. Are All Games Educational? But it is certainly a challenge for designers and creators of educational games, as well as many of the teachers who are their potential consumers, that the game label can be a stigma as much as it is an asset.