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Contents contributed and discussions participated by Juan Betancourt

Juan Betancourt

Games rewards and educational applications - 6 views

  • The popularity of video games is not the enemy of education, but rather a model for best teaching strategies. Games insert players at their achievable challenge level and reward player effort and practice with acknowledgement of incremental goal progress, not just final product
    • Juan Betancourt
      Another point to make is that there are similarities between pbl and educational gaming, in both the students take ownership of their own learning. The difference is probably that the game would have to be more involving for both the teacher and the student. The concept of points or levels would be also more acceptable to students rather than a rubric (clam total in Whyville).
  • n humans, the dopamine reward response that promotes pleasure and motivation also requires that they are aware that they solved a problem, figured out a puzzle, correctly answered a challenging question, or achieved the sequence of movements needed to play a song on the piano or swing a baseball bat to hit a home run. This is why students need to use what they learn in authentic ways that allow them to recognize their progress as clearly as they see it when playing video games.
  • The motivation to persevere is the brain seeking another surge of dopamine -- the fuel of intrinsic reinforcement.
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  • When learners have opportunities to participate in learning challenges at their individualized achievable challenge level, their brains invest more effort to the task and are more responsive to feedback. Students working toward clear, desirable goals within their range of perceived achievable challenge, reach levels of engagement much like the focus and perseverance we see when they play their video games.
  • Gamers reportedly make errors 80% of the time, but the most compelling games give hints, cues, and other feedback so players' brains have enough expectation of dopamine reward to persevere.
  • The games require practice for the specific skills the player needs to master, without the off-putting requirement to repeat tasks already mastered.
  • One way to help each student sustain motivation and effort is to shift progress recognition to students themselves. This can be done by having students use a variety of methods of recording their own progress toward individualized goals. Through brief conferences, goals can be mutually agreed upon, such as number of pages read a week (with comprehension accountability), progression to the next level of the multiplication tables, or achievement of a higher level on a rubric for writing an essay.
  • I've found that for students who have lost confidence to the point of not wanting to risk more failure, it is helpful to start the effort-to-progress record keeping and graphing with something they enjoy, such as shooting foul shots or computer keyboarding speed and accuracy.
  • Compared to an adult brain, a young brain needs more frequent dopamine boosts to sustain effort, persevere through challenges and setbacks, and build the trait of resilience.
  • As students use visible models to recognize their incremental goal progress, they build the executive function of goal-directed behavior.
    How can you incorporate games to your curriculum? What are the rewards you could use? What are the results of lesson mastery and engagement when using games?
    I have used some of the following games to enhance the lessons: 1. The Cisco Binary Game for them to practice in computer the translation between decimal numbers and binary. I'm currently holding a contest on who can get the top score to get some extra credit points. 2. The Cisco Packet Tracers is an interactive game in which they guide their character as he battles in cyberspace to get from destination a to b. 3. Whyville will be used the way we used it in class. Experiment with different games to earn clams. Ultimately the clam total will be the basis for their grade. 4. City One is game that shows how to sustain a city that faces different problems. 5. Site for elementary games. 6. Timez Attack a program for using addition, subtraction and division. 7. Typing, Math and Paint free programs for elementary and Jr. High kids. 8. Webonauts is a game that can be used for elementary and Jr. High students to introduce them to media literacy and citizenship
    On the subject of traditional games, this past semester I created some bingo (chalupa, loteria) playing cards to introduce computer parts to the students. They loved it and were really entertained by it.
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