EA backs gaming in school lessons initiative

Written by Ryan Garside

October 2, 2006 | 16:29

Tags: #children #computer #education #learning #schools #videogames

Companies: #ea #games

Would you have rather been playing Tomb Raider than reading Shakespeare at school? Perhaps the children of tomorrow will be doing just that. A recent study conducted by Futurelabs and sponsored by EA has concluded that playing commercial video game titles in schools can actually be beneficial to schoolchildren's educational development.

EA can only be described as a dubious sponsor for the ‘Teaching with Games’ initiative. Imagine the revenue tthat the company could make if it was able to sell the latest version of FIFA to every school using the national curriculum.

However, the article does make some interesting assertions and is certainly worth a look over on the Futurelab website. If you’re not one for trawling through an academic report, then allow me to sum up the most interesting points from the article here:

  • Using games in lessons can be highly motivating and engaging. Playing video games can help improve students’ computer skills, strategic thinking and problem solving.

  • Apparently 59% of the teachers surveyed said they want to use computer games for education purposes.

  • One teacher, Claire Gammell, said: “I can definitely see the potential of using games in the classroom. It proved to be a great tool for motivating students and engaging their interest. I would like to use games for teaching in the future if the technical problems could be addressed.”

    The plump fat-cats at EA rubbed their rotund bellies with glee at the report's findings, Executive Vice President of International Publishing for EA, Gerhard Florin, exclaimed:

    “The Teaching with Games study, in collaboration with Futurelab, has shown that commercial computer games have the potential to support education, which has raised the bar for ongoing collaboration between the industry and education sectors. We look forward to continued initiatives to help pave the way for meaningful integration of computer games into school curriculum.”

Call me an old conservative, but I can’t accept that playing video games in lessons, especially commercial games, can help improve education. Perhaps specifically designed Maths games that are actually less fun to play than doing the traditional Maths work may be helpful, but playing Need For Speed? No way.

What do you think? Let us know whether you agree with children playing games in the classroom over in the forums.
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