When shaking the hands of the upper school students at the back door each day I will often ask them all a question to get their thoughts on a topic. A few weeks back I asked all the 6th-8th graders what the liked best about their Ipads. The most common answer was that it helped them stay organized. It is good feedback and it is very true (speaking from personal experience).
One of the biggest comments I have heard about the downside of the Ipads was they could be used to play too many games. Well, it helps that we can manage the apps, but a recent trip to San Francisco and the Co.lab at Zynga has helped me see some great value in playing games. Zynga is famous for games like Words With Friends and Farmville. If there is a company that knows games, its Zynga. The cool piece is they have established this Co.Lab with several educational app developers to promote more educational gaming.
It was amazing being part of a process that allowed me to talk with the owners of companies that are developing educational games aimed at advancing learning. These are not games that involve shooting or sports. These are games that support students with learning differences and apply math skills to owning a pizza shop, among other things. Edmodo was there too and we have several teachers using the platform to support classroom instruction. Not all games are bad. As the 5th graders in my business school class are about to find out, the lemonade stand game app I have (and now the ability to beta test Motion Math’s Pizza Shop app) is a game that helps them realize what they need to be successful running a business. Plus it reinforces and teaches them math and accounting skills. So, playing some games can be a good thing.
Thanks to the folks at Bright Bytes for putting on such an amazing summit and connecting us with amazing resources. Game on!