My Response to the Reading:
For the last few years I have been collecting articles about how a well-designed video game provides an almost perfect learning environment. Articles that remind us that when you look at video games thru the eyes of developmental psychologists and cognitive scientists, you see that video games consistently offer the elements our brains need to learn new things, from immediate feedback, to practicing to mastery, to adapting to the learner, to motivation.

This is why a well-designed computer math application is especially useful  for teaching math concepts.  LD students who need extended practice and repetition to master new knowledge and skills are often frustrated by the "drill and kill" approach to learning math facts. Yet they will happily spend time drilling AND learning their math facts when the drill is part of of an interesting and motivating computer application.

At the same time, students who are learning new skills quickly and easily can be frustrated by math programs that are moving too slowly. Programs that require hours of "practice" on concepts that have been already mastered. Here too a well-designed computer math application, which is able to monitor and adapt to the learning pace of an indivdual student, can be an incredibly useful tool.

Unfortunately, the amount of money being spent to develop educational games is dwarved by the amount of money being spent developing games for the commercial entertainment industry. Therefore, most educational games pale in comparison to even a mediocre commercial game.

For this reason I was very interested to read an entire chapter devoted to discussing what choices there were out there in terms of educational applications developed for enhancing instruction in mathematics.

Although the chapter included a great deal of information about using assistive technology to help teach math to students with physical disabilities, as an ET candidate I was more interested in the applications developed to provide meaningful mathematical learning experiences for students regardless of their physical abilities or disabilities.

Lisa Bolig
03/04/2013 10:57pm

Excellent point re: the money being spent on education versus the money being spent on commercial entertainment. VERY unfortunately, this is not the only arena we see this problem in. It's pretty grotesque :(

03/10/2013 9:21pm

I agree with Lisa, education is not getting the financial support it deserves. Very full website great effort


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