Class, Take Out Your Games

Class, Take Out Your Games (Via Furl – The mguerena Archive.) Mike Guernea: “More press on using games in the classroom. When do we reach the critical mass that will finally wake up the power base of education?”

Mike beat me to this article yesterday, but I’d like to add a bit about the statistics presented. Many of the specific examples in the article are great for me to incorporate into my presentations. I am an advocate of games in education and am happy to read good news such as “the adoption rate appears to be accelerating.” However, I am skeptical of some of the (un-cited) statistics offered in the article. The worst offender is this one:

“Game developers estimate that at least 10% of the classrooms in the nation’s 2,500 major school districts use mainstream titles for learning.”

I’d love to be able to say that in a presentation or staff development setting, but will have to quote this article and point out the lack of a source beyond that. Intuitively, given my experience of Orange County schools, I suspect this number is FAR too generous. Now, I don’t have a strong sense of how things might be different in the UK, but I am also suspect of this, particularly the first bit:

“A January survey of British teachers found one-third use games in class to help develop motor-cognitive skills or teach topic-specific subjects, and 59% would consider doing so.”

It’s not that I want gaming to be the underdog here, I’d just like to be able to substantiate these optimistic numbers. :(