Thursday, May 15, 2008

Social Impact Games

So far I've played two Social Impact games. I couldn't register with the ling provide in our syllabus, so I just had to Google the topic. One of the games I've played is called "Matchit", where you simply match faces with names (like Martha Stewart and Steve Case). Then after you get one right, a multiple choice question regarding that person pops up. It was pretty basic, but definitely something that would help the public start to recognize important figures in our country and around the world ASIDE from musicians/artists/actors etc.
The next game I played was Solitaire, and you could choose to play a game surrounding either Sexual Harassment, Ethics, Technology, or Math. I first chose the Sexual Harassment topic, and assumed I would be quizzed on it. But it turned out that it was just normal Solitaire, with a new element of facts on Each of the cards. Although this is a good opportunity to learn new information, it wasn't very interactive, and it was easy to ignore the facts and just play Solitaire. Which I did after about fifteen facts... Two, for example, were, "Educate your employees about sexual harassment" and "Sexual Harassment can cause a loss of reputation"... Both are true, but not stimulating enough to continue reading.
So I changed the topic after simply playing Solitaire for a while, (which was actually great because it's hard to find free Solitaire online that isn't just a "trail period") and switched to math. This was pretty basic, and I eventually discovered after, once again, getting bored of Solitaire that there were categories at the top that provided multiple choice questions.
Overall, I think learning through games is a really productive and appealing way to learn. When I was younger my mom bought some computer games that were for Math, Spelling, and French, and they definitely kept my attention longer than any teacher did.

6 comments:

deb said...

My mum bought me computer games when I was younger as well. I agree that they kept me interested for longer than any teacher at that age. Although I think this might be because of a larger problem with the education system. I think that teachers should be paid more, and I think new programs should be designed that help students to stay engaged for longer periods of time. If using video games is part of this then so be it. What do you guys think?

jvcesena said...

While I agree with both Mollie and Deb that games are a very affective tool to use in teaching, however like Deb I feel as though this reflects a problem in the education system we have in place today. While teachers should be paid more I feel that fact has nothing to do with the topic at hand. Teachers should be able to keep their students attention without the use of these interactive games. If they can't maybe we need smalled classes or better education for our teachers. Children should be encourage to interact and learn through their peers in real life. If we encourage games as a way of interaction and learning then we will continue to see this trend of people turning to online resources to live their lives.

Also while some games may be helpful others appear to be completely pointless like "presidential ping-pong". I played that game for too long and learned nothing except they developed a new way to play pong.

jvcesena said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jvcesena said...

One more post to add to Social Impact Games.

I already posted my review on "Ben's Cancer Game" but I wanted to say that of all the games I played that I found useful and in any ways Helpful were all under the Social Impact Gaming website. I felt as though the games posted on this sight were not over run with propaganda and were actual useful and informative.

Mollie said...

Honestly, until reading these comments I had never thought about them as a reflection of the education system. I completely agree that teachers should be able to keep the attention of their students, and that they should learn enough during their school hours that is efficient for their school level and progress.
On the other hand, no matter how many schools are built within the next generation, the majority of classes will probably remain with at least 20 students... Although teachers need to be able to teach effectively, there is also an advantage of the social impact games that takes away distractions and the varying learning speeds that need to be accounted for by the teachers. They need to focus on all students, and sometimes that means going slower for those behind. The games could provide a perfect place for children to learn at a speed that they are comfortable with, along with a review and practice tool. They seem to me like an at-home tutor that is free of charge. Some people just may need more help then their teacher can provide in a 7 hour day, and it's not always the teachers fault. I think Social Impact Games can provide that extra help...

Libby said...

While I do agree that there are a lot of problems with the educational system, I hesitate to say that video games are the way to get kids to learn. I think a good teacher knows how to engage even the most difficult child without having to have them entertained in front of a screen all day.

While i have seen how video games can be educational as a nanny, I do not think having kids playing those games is the best way to learn. It doesn't have them moving or really interacting with anything or anyone real. I just worry that by using video games that cater to the ADD of this generation, then kids will not learn the skills that will really serve them later in life, which include sitting and listening as well as reading.