Teaching to Learn, Learning to Teach

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Computer games as rewards?

As a kid, I remember zipping through an assignment to get to the end so I could play a computer game. How I loved Oregon trail and the classic number and word munchers. The race would begin from the second my teacher handed out papers. All of the students would scramble to finish so they could play on the computer as their envious classmates only watched.

Part of this problem could be due to computer availability. If there aren't enough computers, there will always be this little race because they are in low supply and high demand.

I think computer games can be great though, especially if you have a student who needs a different type of motivation to encourage them to work. In this respect, a computer game is great because it shows them that education can be fun. It also can reinforce principles you have in your classroom.

So what's the answer? I think 1) the best answer would be to have lots of computers in the classroom. However, I am also practical and realistic, and I recognize that sometimes you have to play the cards you're dealt. Other solutions could invovle 2) designated center times for the computers 3) rotation schedules and 4) partner games.

Obviously, there is a lot more to learning than just fun and games, but I also believe students should not be locked into the rigidty of the day so much that they do not enjoy school.


Post a Comment

<< Home