Over the past several years, there has been tremendous interest among educators in the use of digital games as serious learning. Advocates of game-based learning for K-12 students cite the value of digital games to teach and reinforce skills that prepare students for college and career, such as collaboration, problem solving, creativity, and communication. (…)Read More
It’s not unusual for educators to use analog games in the classroom, but as more classrooms gain access to technology, digital games are also making a strong showing. A recent Joan Ganz Cooney Center survey of 694 K-8 teachers found that 74 percent of those surveyed use digital games in the classroom, up from 50 percent two years ago. Many of the teachers finding the most success are good at creatively connecting the game back to the curriculum, while allowing it to maintain the qualities of a good game. (…)Read More
Games are being used much more widely in schools than they were when I first started writing about them 2 or 3 years ago. As of fall 2013, 74% of K-8 teachers were using digital games. 55% of these teachers have students playing digital games at least weekly, 9% daily. The games they are using are mostly designed to be educational, with only 5% playing commercial games, and 8% playing hybrids (commercial games adapted for education like MincraftEDU orSimCityEdu). (…)Read More
What’s the opposite of scaffolding a lesson? It would be saying to students something like, “Read this nine-page science article, write a detailed essay on the topic it explores, and turn it in by Wednesday.” Yikes — no safety net, no parachute, no scaffolding — just left blowing in the wind. (…)Read More
Are you tired of delivering the same old lectures on the same subjects year after year? Are you using the same lesson materials over and over and wishing you could make learning in your classroom more interactive? While lectures and lessons can be informative and even “edutaining” when delivered with passion and good materials by knowledgeable experts, sadly many traditional lectures and lessons are boring, and even worse often ineffective.Read More
One of the strategies that I use when creating lesson plans is to reflect on the previous lesson. Part of that reflection includes feedback from students. This can be done by simply asking students to raise their hands in response to a “did you get it?” type of question, but I like to have better record of responses than just a hand count. Here are some tools that can be used for collecting exit information from students. (…)Read More
The greatest software invented for human safety is the human brain. It’s time that we start using those brains. We must mix head knowledge with action. In my classroom, I use two essential approaches in the digital citizenship curriculum that I teach: proactive knowledge and experiential knowledge.Read More
Student voices shape the way we rate and review on Graphite. Common Sense Media intern Sophia Dalal recently interviewed her 14-year-old brother, Kavi, about what makes a game great for learning. She also ran focus groups with more than 20 teens to understand how they evaluate learning games. Here’s what some of these savvy kids had to say. (…)Read More
How Storytelling Affects the Brain
1- Neutral Coupling
A story activates parts in the brain that allows the listener to turn the story in to their own ideas and experience thanks to a process called neutral coupling.
Listeners will not only experience the similar brain activity to each other, but also to the speaker.
The brain releases dopamine into the system when it experiences an emotionally-charged event, making it easier to remember and with greater accuracy.
4- Cortex activity
When processing facts, two areas of the brain are activated (Broca’s and Wernicke’s area). A well-told story can engage many additional areas, including the motor cortex, sensory cortex, and frontal cortex.