I was scanning the news today when an article from the UK Telegraph caught my attention that Tetris is 25 years old. Big deal... But then I thought did it take us 25 years to bring books, films and other mainstream media to the classroom? Videogames do have a place in schools do have a place in schools and I have almost the research to prove it.
Currently my kids are undertaking a funded research project to explore if video games have a place in the classroom as a worthwhile teaching and learning tool. At the moment we are about two thirds of the way through the project and I can offer some feedback on how it is all going.
I purchaed a Nintendo Wii, and a heap of brain training for Nintendo DS and simulation games such as Sim City for the kids to play for about 20 minutes per day to see what story was.
I tested their mathematical problem solving at the start of the project and will retest them again shortly so I can't comment on and don't expect a massive jump in this area in the space of a term just yet.
But I can say they that the games are definitely engaging the kids and they are taking it all pretty serious. I can see a future for this in MY classroom purely as another tool to engage my kids in short bursts.
We have a Wikispace which is filling up pretty quick with feedback from the kids involved - And they really are offering some high level critique of the project so far. It is really a medium they probably know better than any other age group.
So I will keep you posted on the hard data and facts when it's all over but.. I f you want a hook to engage your kids in worthwhile activities - choose the right games and give it a shot.