Video Games Belong In Schools Because Some Teachers Think They Might Possibly Consider Using Them, Maybe

from the there-should-be-some-better-research dept

Over the years, we've seen various reports that suggest how video games can be beneficial for kids, from increasing their ability to multitask, to improving confidence to making learning more interesting. However, mixed in with all of these are some questionable studies. The latest is a report coming out of the UK, saying that there's now "evidence" that video games deserve a place in schools. What's the evidence? A study, sponsored by video game companies including EA and Take Two, in which "59% of teachers would consider using off-the-shelf games in the classroom while 62% of students wanted to use games at school." That's hardly compelling evidence. In fact, it's not evidence at all. It's asking a bunch of teachers whether or not they would think about maybe using a video game if it was worthwhile. It's almost surprising that the number who answered yes is so low. If anything, the report seems a lot more damning for the game makers than in favor of their position. Of course, this isn't the first time that EA has pulled off this kind of non-study to support video games in schools. In January, they put out a similar study about whether or not video games were good for kids, where they simply asked teachers if they thought the games were beneficial, rather than, you know, actually studying to see if the games were beneficial. There very well may be a place for video games in the classroom -- but to support it, you would hope that researchers (whether backed by the video game industry or not) could find a bit more compelling evidence.
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  1. identicon
    Xanthir, FCD, 3 Oct 2006 @ 11:50am

    Bad stats are bad stats, from anyone

    EA and Take Two, I love you guys. You do a lot of good stuff, and you're big players in some of the pro-vg associations. However, throwing together a crappy study showing next to nothing and then playing up the results far beyond what the numbers can support is exactly the sort of crap that your enemies do.

    Please stop it. Thanks.

    Oh, and on the side-topic, Number Munchers FTW! The fact is, to be good at math you *need* to do math over and over again. There are basics that need to be continually repeated until they are instinctual, just like in reading. Do you think it would be fun to read a book if you had to look up every other word in the dictionary? No, and so you drill kids with words every single day. This is simply natural, though. Math skills have the same need to be constantly drilled in, though, and the lack of this is a big contributor to the hatred of math, imo. If you can't quickly and reliably multiply single-digit numbers, how are you ever going to enjoy algebra? It's like throwing someone a copy of Proust and a french-to-english dictionary, and saying, "Enjoy! He's a great poet, you'll see." The amount of work involved in just figuring out what he's saying will turn people off of putting in the work to *understand* what he's saying.

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