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Discussion: All Tools on Computer
Topic: home work


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Subject:   RE: home work
Author: markovchaney
Date: Oct 21 2006
On Oct 21 2006, John Mac wrote:
> I teach remedial math, and I am looking for ways to get students to
> do homework.

We all see how skilled students are at video games!!
> They seem to enjoy them!

Are ALL students skilled at such games? Or are you possibly making a gross
generalization that could well lead us to a lot of incorrect conclusions?

We all wonder if there is some video
> game that could be invented that teaches the players math skills.

I can't say I would be included in the above-mentioned "all." First, I don't
'wonder': I'm sure this is possible. Whether it would be any good is another
issue. But then, of course, you presume that "teaching math skills" requires
some sort of direct and explicit instruction, I suspect. An educational game, in
that view, will LOOK like school. And will be a turn-off to many of the same
kids who don't respond well to traditional school instruction.

Questions you might want to consider: could games that don't shout, "LOOK! I'M
TEACHING THE LITTLE BUGGERS SOMETHING! I'M EDUCATIONAL!!!" be effective at
teaching important, useful things? Could it be that some/many/most/all games
already do this to some extent (with the exception, perhaps, or those that
scream their didactic nature to kids? ;^)  

Then again, you need to remind me why kids need to know how to factor quadratic
equations.  I think you need to remind the kids, too. Or does solving them with
CAS suffice?

> However, the skills that are needed to play these games are really
> just primitive motor skills.  (Get an object to the proper place and
> do the right thing).

Really? That's ALL they are? ALL of them? You're sure? Ever play MYST?

Personally, I do not see how a skill like
> solving a quadratic equation could be made directly into a game.
> However, I do see how the game could be like "Who Wants to be a
> Millionaire" where the correct answer moves the player closer to a
> goal (like owning more money).

Do any of you think that this is
> possible, or would get the students attention.  

The basic "I
> walked to school barefoot in the snow and so can you" idea about
> homework is not working.  

John Mac

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