learning games

Comments on Educational Gaming Article

Posted comments today on interesting article on “The Psychology Behind Why Gaming Helps Students Learn” in K-12 Tech Decisions. Article focused on how educational gaming helps students learn and provides good insights for using educational gaming for management training as I noted in my comments. My comments also noted that educational gaming is a high potential growth market

36917328_sTo further reinforce this point, McKinsey&Company’s  September 2015 report on K-12 education technology noted increased opportunities in the K-12 and higher education sectors, and investment is increasing rapidly. The report notes that the number of annual private-equity deals has more than doubled, from 30 in 2007–10 to about 70 in 2012–14. They also note that venture capital firms have entered the space like never before, investing $1.87 billion in 2014, up 55 percent from 2013. Link to McKinsey& Company education technology report at Link to the McKinsey report at McKinsey&Company Ed Tech Investment Report

You can see the original K12 Tech Decisions article and my comments at K-12 Ed Tech   The Psychology Behind Why Gaming Helps Students Learn.

Copy of my comments also posted below:

Thanks for interesting article. While your focus is K-12, many of your findings apply to both university level and corporate/executive training as well. My observations are based on corporate and entrepreneurial management experience, serving as an adjunct professor for 12 years at three leading universities, and being directly involved in both online K-12 and educational gaming ventures several years ago.

I am pleased to share several comments:

1. Game based learning changes thinking and improves creativity as you noted. As an example, using Harvard Business School case reviews to reinforce complex business concepts is the traditional approach used in business schools. If you couple these with a simulation game, for example, which lets students establish product mix and pricing strategies to maximize profits and EPS, you see real benefits. The key point here – the case studies and the gaming alone provide benefits but working together provides greater benefits, i.e., the “ 1 + 1 = 3” situation. We are changing student ‘thinking’ here

2. The optimum solution is as you noted to integrate educational gaming with other forms of instruction as you noted. But the challenge is both creating strong content such as noted above and developing the proper mix of time and resources. I am looking at this challenge now to structure both traditional and ‘gaming’ courseware for educating entrepreneurs ( including possibly K-12 level).

3. We need to educate decision and policy makers on the benefits of educational gaming. On the one hand, many are emphasizing the need for increased social interaction and reducing ‘screen time’- educational gaming and electronic courseware moves in the opposite direction. Creative educational gaming requiring some social interaction (such as integrating teaming an approach I am looking at in entrepreneurial courseware) appears to be an effective solution and there may be others.

4. Decision and policy makers also have to be comfortable moving to electronic media. This is changing and the work of your group and other is helping, but as we know, despite looking at a classroom filled with student I-pads, many instructors and decision makers are still ‘clinging to textbooks.’

Bottom line here – educational gaming is still in its infancy – very exciting, high growth area that can in my view fuel significant improvement in our K-12 educational system and other areas as well.

Paul B. Silverman is Managing Partner Gemini Business Group, LLC (www.geminibusinessgroup.com), a new venture development firm. He has four decades senior corporate management, management consulting, adjunct professor, and entrepreneurial management experience. He writes about entrepreneurship, healthcare, analytics, strategy management. Author of “8 Building Blocks To Launch, Manage, And Grow A Successful Business.   Follow his blog at http://paulbsilverman.com/blog/

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