Playing to Learn?

This is a rebuild of the Presentation I did in Texas called “Playing to Learn Math?” It is focused on a general audience in education and includes many more games and simulations than the prior version.  Before you click through, think about this …

  • 99% of boys aged 12-17 play video games
  • 94% of girls aged 12-17 play video games
  • 50% of teens played video games “yesterday”

Pew Research, Teens, Video Games, and Civics, 2008

Since 2006, the rate of Internet use for teens aged 12-17 has been 93-94%, with roughly 40% using the Internet “Several Times a Day” (Pew Research, Millenials: A Portrait of Generation Next) The next time you have a student who says they don’t have access to the Internet, stop and consider.  To not teach students to use the Internet (and use it appropriately) is akin to leaving out a crucial job/life skill like reading.  If that same student said they “didn’t have access to books” how would you respond?  Our campuses have both computer labs and libraries. Is it unreasonable for students to be expected to use both if necessary?

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Playing to learn math?

This presentation, built yesterday, is my philosophical argument for why we should be actively pursuing games as a way to teach algebra. In fact, you’ll find that many of the definitions of games and game design principles sound like they are describing algebra. Of course, the presentation misses something without my accompanying talk, but it has enough to get you started thinking about where we could be going with math education.

It took me 12 hours just to build the presentation you see below … and collaboration with my assistant and an illustrator.  I’ve been obsessively reading and thinking about this topic for about two years.

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