Monday, October 28, 2013

Brain Power!

A World of Gaming.
Well folks I have sunk down the rabbit hole of gaming. I used to think that gaming was a waste of time. Well I am here to admit and state that my time was used but it was not wasted. I spent a little over three hours in the last two days on the game Kingdom Rush. At first I was very skeptical, mainly because this was my very first attempt at any sort of online gaming, and also I thought that I wouldn't be any good. As it turns out...I'M GOOD! I know that comes off as conceited, but I am proud to say that I have passed through several levels of the game, and I even found myself going back and improving my scores on some of the previous levels. I was in a state of flow, my brain was purely focused on the task at hand, I needed to protect my kingdom, and that was all that was on my mind. As I successfully passed the first level, and then the second level I found myself strategizing, but this was all taking place as I was playing the game. I was building my brain power. Just like in real life, we need experiences to build our brain power. In math we use different methods, and practice these methods to build up or brain power, in video games we are building up our problem solving skills and putting those skills to the test. I found myself wanting to play more and more, and I have never in the past had any desire in online gaming.  
Now, I am not saying that everyone should be a gamer, but I am saying that we should all try. Throughout the process I gained understanding as to why my friends and family members love to game. The understanding that I developed was that it's not about blowing things up, or getting to the top of the castle. It is purely about the rush you get when you succeed, or when you find new tricks to accomplish the task at hand. A benefit that I found is, that while gaming I am improving my brain power, which is very exciting.
Here is a TED video of how gaming is improving your brain power.
I know this is a long one, but its worth it. Even if you only have time to watch the first 10 minutes, it's a great start into the world of gaming.

Now imagine a world where parents and teachers knew this knowledge and used it to their advantage in the classroom or at home. Imagine the amount of excitement as students walk into your classroom, and the motivation that student's will have to learn through gaming. The time for change is now. Take the time right now...brainstorm for a minute, Ill wait. Ask yourself "how could I use gaming in my classroom" Ready, Set, Go!
*Well did you think of anything? I did. 
What if your students walk in every morning, they get settled, and instead of doing the same old boring roll call, you have them log into a device and you have them game their way through a series of questions that gets them ready to start the day. Maybe the last question being hot or cold lunch? Yes it may take time to figure this out, but would your students be excited about being at school? I think they would. 
It's time to start brainstorming, and get your students improving their brain power. 

Happy Gaming!