Compare and contrast - Video games as educational tools

Dr. Jim Gee notes:


If learning always operates well within the learner's resources, then all that happens is that the learner's behaviors get more and more routinized, as the learner continues to experience success by doing the same things. This is good ... for learning and practicing fluent and masterful performance ... but is not good for developing newer and higher skills. However, if learning operates outside one's resources, the learner is simply frustrated and gives up.

Good video games ... build in many opportunities for learners to operate at the outer edge of their regime of competence, thereby causing them to rethink their routinized mastery and move, within the game and themselves, to a new level. Indeed, for many learners it is these times ... when learning is most exciting and rewarding. Sadly in school, many so-called advantaged learners rarely get to operate at the edge of their regime of competence as they coast along in a curriculum that makes few real demands on them. At the same time, less advantaged learners are repeatedly asked to operate outside their regime of competence.

[Video games] build into their designs and encourage good principles of learning ... that are better than those in many of our skill-and-drill, back-to-basics, test-them-until-they-drop schools.

Gee, J. P. (2003). What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. [pp. 70, 205]

In contrast, here are current teachers' beliefs (click on graph for full report):

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