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President at Smart Science Education Inc.

1. No evidence is required

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1. No evidence is required because games, by definition, require game interaction. This adds overhead to the learning process. Now, I admit that typical classroom learning is also inefficient. Is this inefficiency (games and classroom) necessary? Is one greater than the other? We don't have much evidence to answer these questions.

I have looked a quite a few educational games. They all had excessive gaming compared to learning. I did not count pseudo-drill games.

2. The brevity of my comment may have created this impression. There are perhaps thousands or more options for learning. I was responding in the context of the article. The issue I see is one of trimming the game part of educational games down so that the process becomes more efficient. One award-winning game I investigated had maybe 30 minutes of messing around before it came to the learning part.

3. The question of efficiency and effectiveness is valid. However, before diving in here, we should all define our terms. Can learning be inefficient and effective at the same time? I suppose so. Is that desirable? Not sure. More importantly, can learning be efficient and ineffective at the same time? Depends on your definitions. I would say not because I would include measurements of effectiveness in efficiency. If you aren't of the same mind, then you certainly can come to an alternate conclusion.

I hold that learning 100 bits of information in a day and then completely forgetting them a few days later is neither efficient nor effective. After all, you've wasted a day acquiring information that you immediately forgot. To me, that's the height of inefficiency and is very ineffective.

Final question: can effective, inefficient learning be valuable? This question sets up a poor standard. Why should learning be inefficient if that's unnecessary? What is efficiency, after all. It's not measured by most bits learned per hour. It's the most learning in the time available. If you have an hour for learning, then spending half of that time on gaming niceties makes little sense, unless somehow (by magic?) the gaming sets up the learner's brain to acquire the to-be-learned information or skills at least twice as rapidly.

What is a game, after all? It's a pastime, a relaxation, sometimes a social activity. The primary purpose of games would appear to be the opposite of learning, to disengage the learning centers of the brain so you can relax and enjoy -- rather like being on holiday. I understand the impetus to use games in learning because people really enjoy playing games. I just think that most are approaching this topic backward. You don't take a game and add on learning. You should, rather, take good strong learning software and make it more accessible by adding on ideas from the world of games cautiously.

Supervisor of Gifted and Elementary Math / Cheltenham School District

@Harry: a few questions about

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@Harry: a few questions about your comment re: games:

1. What is your evidence that games are inefficient for learning?
2. You have a false dichotomy in your statement--you imply that games and classrooms are the only two options for learning, and that no "third way" yet exists. Why do games and classrooms need to be mutually exclusive, and why can't other existing possibilities also be part of the mix?
3. Why would efficiency of learning be the primary desirable attribute? Wouldn't effectiveness be more important? And can't effective but inefficient learning still be valuable?

Principal, COHS

Many of these are ideas that

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Many of these are ideas that we are promoting within Canadian Online High School, authorized by the Ontario Ministry of Education BSID #668613 to grant full credits and the OSS Diploma. Although we are only a year+ old, we have used such ideas to promote and expand our online high school both in Ontario and Internationally. And growth is definitely an "EduWin". Our teachers are new and creative and their efforts are definitely resulting in win-win-win-win situations. We are now international so we are evidence that online education "is working" for more that just the school; it is "working" globally for our students, teachers, referral agencies, secondary providers and tertiary industries of education.

President at Smart Science Education Inc.

Big win in California. Gov.

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Big win in California. Gov. Brown mandated (and gave money for) using technology to make UC, CSU, and CCC more efficient. Big emphasis on the science courses with their limited lab space and high costs.

President at Smart Science Education Inc.

Games are inefficient for

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Games are inefficient for learning but so are traditional classrooms. There should be a third way. Looking forward to watching these ideas develop.

Chief Development Officer

The interest in and practice

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The interest in and practice of globally connected education was simply breathtaking in 2013. The global classroom explosion was fueled by Twitter chats, Skype in the Classroom, and Edmodo; highlighted during Connected Educator's Month, the Global Education Conference, and International Education Week; and supported by VIF, Asia Society's Mapping the Nation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Depts of Education and State, and hundreds of organizations & ministries worldwide.

A total EduWin for teachers and students everywhere.

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