137: Idea Sex in the Classroom

Idea Sex in the Classroom

'"The direct value of computer games in learning environments is obvious to just about anyone who looks at it - certainly, for example, to readers of The Escapist. Something that can simulate rich, complex environments at staged levels of difficulty, offer continuous feedback, allow you to "fail," then learn from that - sure. Works well for everything, from putting business students in front of Capitalism to young sportspeople in front of Madden or Rugby.'"

Colin Rowsell speaks to the Director of the Manukau Institute of Technology about videogames and education.


I've read this whole article and I have one question, well two really.

1) What the living hell are you on about?

2) What the feck is idea sex?

I was about to ask the same thing, but after a re-read, it made a bit more sense.

The opening was the problem, it was a bit confusing, and didn't really explain what you were going on about. The apocalypse and reforming education was a pretty tenuous link right up until the end, when I experienced a 'Oh...that's what he means' moment, and it slotted into place. The sex bit still alludes me, unless you wanted to pork this lass something rotten, in which case, ew.

Anyway, to the article:

I liked it, and I'm interested in the idea of using games and related software to assist education. I don't share the same opinions of Dr. Anderson - I believe the education system can be pushed in the right direction, and certaintly take on elememts of what is suggested, no-one could decimate the education system without decades of constant legal and political activism and a shedload of corroborating information.

I have to say, games are indeed a very powerful educational tool in terms of literacy and creativity. Mathmatical aspects aren't often exploited outside of the denser RPGs and the like, but I can see where use could be had. I believe there's a previous article about D&D being used to teach kids elementary maths and creative storytelling, which I love.

In short, great article, interesting topic, slightly odd execution.

And here I was going to go on a sex ed population/poverty control rant :P

As the article initially points out, the problem with learning has so much more to do with entertainment than anything else. If the learning material (or how that material is being taught) isn't entertaining, then of course its dreaded and loathed by reluctant students.

But that's not where it ends. Simply educating the educators does nothing. A teacher's attitude, beliefs, charisma, and commanding respect are all factors on how well a student learns. You can give someone all of the materials, and teach them how to use those materials, and they'll still fail. But what sticks out the most with bad teachers, more so than mean and horrible teachers, are when they don't have faith in what they teach, or when they don't have faith in who they teach. When either of those two are lacking, at least half of the class is bound for failure.

With the rise of bad parenting and weak family ties ever since the 60's (or was it earlier?), the TV, more or less, became a parenting tool, and children grew up with weak connections to their in-home role-models. Instead of having a reliable parent to look up to, they instead escaped to the sit-a-thon that is tv programming, and when they did look to their parents, received near to nothing, or an entirely wrong message. Teachers are really surrogate parents, and when they fail at that, the child fails, with no one to blame.

Sorry for the rant. For me, education and parenting are closely tied, as I imagine it is for a lot of people, and is something that I personally feel is poor.

I know what Darkpen means from experience. Best teacher I ever had was my US History teacher in 11th grade. Firts quarter I got a 70, next three I got no less than a 90, because my teacher was passionate, determined, creative and cared. I bet he would also do well in teaching in this new prorposed way (not as hardcore as we may be, but he was definatly a skilled enough gamer)
Standard schooling methods never really work well for me. I tend to learn from the teachers who deviate from the normal ways of things. Pfft, I bet I would be a great student if the person interviewed reformed schools as they were talking about.

So we now support the idea that children can handle complex educational systems as long as they are entertained by the premise and the information involved within the system? Well, it's certainly worth accepting that they are capable of comprehension, when just a few years ago only those set out and put in special programs were considered worthy of even attempting to dictate complexity. Following up with this thought accross the board seems like it would be a much more fruitful venture than trying a full, or even partial, restart of the education system. Give them something more than just disregard when presenting them with intricate systems, and help them understand the connection that each component holds with each other if they need it, but try and get them to figure it out for themselves. It's certainly a step forward.

Wait, it is easier to educate if the students enjoy what they are learning? Really? wow.

Regardless, good article.


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