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Science Education Program Developer, Sci-Q Systems

I totally agree with

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I totally agree with connecting these two areas. The already posted negative comments from professional educators and the positive remarks by game producers shows that initiative for promoting gaming as an instructional tool will have to come primarily from the game producers.

I don't blame the educators for their negativity, one little bit. They have been ground down by the punitive, rigid system that's been the unintended consequence of year-end assessment using standardized summative tests, especially but not exclusively in California, and primarily for those who teach children of poverty.

The curriculum has narrowed to just what's on the test. Teachers are discouraged (and worse) from doing anything remotely outside textbook-based instruction or skill drills through worksheets or computer programs.

The Common Core Standards seem at first reading to discourage rigidity, but if our current testing and accountability system continues unchanged, the needs of bureaucracy will twist Common Core into something unrecognizable.

I know this because I've seen it happen before. Great educational ideas and innovations are uniformly mashed into pointless and tasteless pablum, the only difference being that the NCLB made the pablum a bit poisonous, too.

Oh, and I've already been approached by a test question vendor asking if I'd like to start writing multiple choice questions based on Common Core even though Common Core is really incompatible with multiple choice. So the perversion of another good idea is already starting.

Eighth Grade science teacher from Illinois

Your article hit quite close

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Your article hit quite close to home with me. You see, being an educator it has always been the utmost importance to me to bestow a love of reading to my children and relatives. I would cringe each time I traveled to my sister’s home, just to see my nephew trapped away in his bedroom playing video games. I would insist to my sister the value of nightly reading and reinforcement of math facts at the dinner table, to which she sloughed off and quickly ignored. Years have passed now, and her practices have not changed, but what has changed is my opinion of video games. My nephew’s desperate desire to increase levels and maximize playing time encourage his reading skills and math skills. This authentic learning environment that included a desire to learn served as a catalyst to his higher order thinking skills when playing role playing and strategy games. That nephew went on to be placed in the gifted program at our local district and is now in all advanced placement classes. I think we often underestimate the skills acquired during games and will no longer be holding the controllers away from my children!

Thanks, Milton, for asking us

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Thanks, Milton, for asking us to explore how gaming can enhance learning in language arts. There is parallel activity in global competency, using games like Half the Sky, Get Water, Touchable Earth to build awareness of the world and its issues, as well as to take action to address them. I recently wrote about this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ed-gragert/ Our organization, Global Campaign for Education-US is now mapping each of these games to the Common Core--as we have done for the "Lesson For All," a curriculum that looks at the issue of the 132 million young people who do not have access to elementary education.

Ed

Big Disconnect

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The author must not be familiar with the grim realities of these "standards"--poorly conceived and executed, untested, developmentally inappropriate. written with testing in mind (and judging from early samples, poorly written tests), and, as currently being implemented, not conducive to any of the worthy practices he mentions. Certainly not conducive to gaming. Mr. Chen doesn't seem to understand what an enormous boondoggle the whole enterprise has been from the outset. The "CCSS" are guaranteed to hurt students and teachers by engendering even more boredom and stress than they already face. Learning through discovery, self expression, and creating things is anathema to the assumptions the "standards" are based upon. (Just listen to Mr. Coleman's own words!)

Director of the Virginia Beach School of the Arts

Music, Learning and the Brain Lecturer

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Students will always do better when they are emotionally engaged. Their brains are more efficient at these times because of the release of dopamine and opiods, long term memory centers are open for retrieval and storage and new neuro pathways are highly susceptible for new learning. Teachers know how to engage their students emotionally and we long for the day when we are allowed by time and management to do so. In the mean time, I can get a few games into our classes as well as using a ton of educational songs from http://www.acadamiacs.com/. Singing and moving is the BEST way to engage the whole body in the learning process. You should hear my 1st & 2nd graders sing all the multiplication tables (2's - 13's)!. I'll leave out a number and they jump up & sing out the correct answers at the top of their lungs. What ENERGY! What's even more surprising is that my kindergarteners & 1st graders enter class BEGGING to sing the Periodic Table of the Elements by memory naming the element & its symbol all the way from Hydrogen to Meitnerium. They LOVE to learn THIS WAY because their brains are fully engaged. There is NOTHING they cannot learn when music is the delivery system. the sky is the limit. When teaching is done correctly, the child would rather learn than do anything else. Music & the music games we use in class are more successful than any other strategy that I've used in 24 years. http://www.acadamiacs.com/ has songs for our language arts, mathematics, spelling history and more. If you can teach a child to teach them self, they will fall in love with learning for a lifetime, and isn't that what it's all about?

Publisher of Engaging Web-based Learning Platforms Built for Common Core

We're optimists.

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LTS Education Systems believes strongly in using games to support the Common Core. We're doing it right now through our Stride Academy and Kid's College learning platforms, and we're actively gathering outcomes data to back it up.

Our model of using games to support the Common Core is unique because we keep the Common Core-aligned curriculum and activities discrete from the gaming component. Other models may integrate their academic activities into a "learning game," but our research shows that educators and students prefer quite the opposite. The result is that our design does not compromise the rigor and high standards of the Common Core, nor does it compromise the games for the students. They are motivated to work hard on the academic tasks for the reward of brief playing time in sports, arcade, and other games that rival what they play on their consoles and mobile devices.

Wowzers offers online Game-based Math curriculum for Grades 3-8

You may be surprised,

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You may be surprised, game-based learning does offer the ability to add some fun to the CCSS assessments. Check out this video to see what we've done with the 3-8th grade math content from PARCC and Smarter Balanced - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzA1C-au8eA

www.wowzers.com

say what?

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What a bizarre article. Common Core assessments—long, tortuous slogs—are diametrically opposed to games.

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