Thursday, February 21, 2013

Computer Games and Education

Forbes Magazines had an article here about how computers and computer games could change education completely.

Yes, Computers can teach many skills very successfully.  What they probably won’t do is raise verbal SAT scores which, yes, have been falling for the last forty years.  A habit of independent reading is necessary for scoring high on the verbal SAT.

Consider how different are the skills gained through computer games and reading.  With games, you learn dexterity, and how to make instant decisions based on rapidly changing situations.  If the game is based on teaching facts, you can learn a good deal of information.  You can learn math skills. Some very complicated games, I understand, can even teach flying skills to pilots and surgery skills to doctor.  Apparently the factual basis of how to lead can also be taught.

But avid readers learn a completely different skill set. They learn how to concentrate and follow oral arguments.  They acquire a sophisticated vocabulary (from seeing words in hundreds of contexts) that enables more complex thinking on their part.  They become sensitized to nuance and tone.   Because they read about a wide variety of experiences, through the eyes of a wide variety of narrators, they acquire a better understanding of how people from various backgrounds think and feel.  I think avid readers also become more thoughtful.

Obviously, both computers and books are valuable.  I just worry that all of the emphasis on computers is going to result in even fewer kids developing as avid readers.  


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  2. NICE POST!!! An education provides individuals with the ability to develop their potential to a much greater extent. It improves interaction between people and results in more efficient exchanges. Thanks for sharing a nice information.
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