How Computer Games Help Children Learn
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How Computer Games Help Children Learn

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  47 ratings  ·  9 reviews
How can we make sure that our kids are learning to be creative thinkers in a world of global competition--and what does that mean for the future of education in the digital age? David Williamson Shaffer offers a fresh and powerful perspective on computer games and learning. How Computer Games Help Children Learn shows how video and computer games can help teach kids to bui...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published December 26th 2006 by Palgrave Macmillan
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MJ Nicholls
In this summer’s must-read, Associate Professor Shaffer pounds into our heads the notion of ‘epistemic’ games that will turn next year’s children into a group of innovative professionals before their tenth birthdays. He argues that by playing games designed to encourage children to think like professionals in their field, they will grow into a new generation of bright sparks able to cope in a ‘postindustrial’ world, already equipped with the language, rationalising skills and knowledge to succee...more
Nov 15, 2007 Penny rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: educators, computer geeks, and anyone who works with kids
Shelves: coursebooks
I started reading this book with a skeptical attitude after seeing one too many articles by computer geeks who blather on about how “learning should never be boring.” As it turns out, Shaffer won me over very quickly with this book.

First of all, Shaffer explicitly defines what kind of games help children learn: epistemic games. These are games built on the model of the practicum, which allows a novice to learn the ways of thinking in a particular profession, to ask the questions that a professio...more
While many would lump all computer games into a pile that is, educationally speaking, below television, and perhaps only above "playing in traffic", the author sees things differently. His first question is "what is it important for kids to learn". He sees children entering a very dynamic world that is changing so fast that tradition education doesn't make sense, and the memorization of facts is obsolete. This obsolescence is driven by the both the google effect, and the changing nature of the w...more
Kaj Sotala
Interesting book, which focuses on the ways that children can be taught to think in new kinds of ways by placing them in various kinds of simulations, in which they get to try things out and discuss their findings with more experienced practitioners. As the children get to adopt the identity of the profession that's being simulated - be it an engineer, visual designer, journalist or urban planner - and work on tasks that feel actually meaningful, they can start learning some of the ways of thoug...more
Students in EDU345 Technology for Teaching and Learning engaged in a spontaneous debate in class last week as we raised the question about the value of computer games for learning. One group argued from their experience participating in multi-player online games. A second group from its conviction that positive social development and "teaching" require real people and face-to-face interactions.

I want to introduce new perspectives to the discussion so I found this book that describes new ways of...more
Bob Uva
Good coverage of a type of game under development and research at University of Wisconsin - Madison. Type is called 'epistemic games' and refers to games that allow players to learn how to think like an actual professional in a field thinks.
So, rating this book a '5' is a bit selfish since it was written by my graduate school advisor and has a chapter about my research project.
Dec 28, 2008 Lori is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
A really great argument for education reform grounded in the worlds of digital natives...
I learned how computer games help children learn.
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