Monday 8, February 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: Paul Anderson, who teaches AP science in a Montana school in the United States, explained to the audience gathered at the fourth World Government Summit (WGS 2016) how classroom game design helps improve learning.
In the broader context of what education should impart and what the future classroom should look like, Anderson said it should resemble a workshop where you read, watch videos, work on skills and then apply them to a project to solve problems in the real world.
Anderson arrived at his now much talked solutions after realizing his own failures as a teacher. He said he had failed in three ways in the way he was imparting education to his students. First, he saw there were some students who raced ahead, some who were left behind and some who crashed into the wall. Second, he realized that students struggled with reading and that’s because he said, “I never stopped talking”. And finally he saw that they were being surrounded by computer screens that were throwing things such as philosophy and relativity. He said good learning is not about videos and automated learning and sitting in modules.
Kids come to school to be social, he noted. This realization led Anderson to introduce elements of social learning in his teaching.
Video games are fun and school should be fun too, Anderson said, adding that the compelling elements of gaming can be applied to learning and that’s what he has tried to do in his videos on various subjects that have been uploaded as YouTube videos, accessible to thousands of students the world over.
“Video is a new type of book,” he noted, adding that the genre imparts one dimensional lessons and does not help track the student’s level of understanding. Virtual reality and gamification are the other new types of books, but again they are just a way to teach, Anderson said.
Without overemphasizing the role of technology, Paul Anderson acknowledged that it has allowed him to be in more than one place at a time. “Technology also motivates and is the best way to connect other people. What technology does is connect me to my students,” said Anderson.
Education in the classroom, Anderson concluded, should be imparted with the teacher on the side, acting as a mentor.
The World Government Summit has attracted more than 3,000 personalities from over 125 countries, and 125 speakers in over 70 sessions. The attendees include VIPs and senior experts from the public and private sectors globally, ministers, decision makers, CEOs, innovators, officials, experts, entrepreneurs, academics, and university students. A number of initiatives, reports and studies are set to be launched during the summit and throughout the year. The summit runs from February 8 – 10, 2016 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai.