Educational Technology

March 29, 2013

Teachers, Students, Digital Games: What’s the Right Mix?

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:39 am

By MindShift

When St. Louis fifth-grade teacher Jenny Kavanaugh teaches history, she uses her laptop to look at a map, or to give kids a virtual tour of the historical landmarks they’re studying. “Students can interact with history in very cool ways online,” she said. But when it’s time for math, she puts the computer away. Even though Kavanaugh thinks technology is a great tool to enhance and deepen certain lessons, for drill and practice of key concepts in class, she finds one-on-one practice to be much more effective than its technological equivalent – digital practice games. According to a recent teacher survey conducted by PBS, 43 percent of classroom computing goes to playing educational digital games, while a Joan Ganz Cooney study showed that nearly 50 percent of teachers use digital games in class. But with nearly half of all classroom computer time dedicated to games — many of which are played to reinforce basic skills like phonics, spelling or multiplication tables — some teachers are wondering if games really are innovative techniques used to enhance student learning.

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