Sunday, November 16, 2008

Simulations and Gaming

WOW! How fun are some of these sites and pages? One of the first (albeit selfish) thoughts that came to mind was, "How come they didn't have this stuff when I was in high school?" (Or elementary school or junior high....) The holographic earth, the interactive maps and fun! One of the articles talked about the joy of learning and the importance of play -- these software applications certainly do make learning interactive, engaging, and fun.
As an educator, I think we tend to grimace ( I do sometimes) at the thought that our kids have to be entertained in order to learn something. But one of the authors pointed out that our kids are used to interfacing with their environment -- and perhaps we should look at it that way. The mathway site, for instance, what a great tool to allow kids to not only "interface" with the learning environment, but to also get additional help if needed.
Another very important concept that goes back to virtually all of our readings in this course deals with the idea of collaboration. I loved the Micro Worlds exercise where students were actively engaged with each other, their environment, and technology to (and I think this is KEY) to help students learn and teach curriculum content to other students.

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