Video games being used to teach students

I found two interesting articles on The Daily Tell, which is devoted to publishing positive news articles about American business.

In the first article, MTV publishes a video game which helps students learn to manage their finances, a rather timely topic given that we’re passing through the Great Recession of 2008-2009.

Players have to help the protagonist — Piggy Banks — maximize savings, limit debt, and stay happy. That’s definitely not easy to do in real life but you have to wonder how effectively a video game encapsulates life’s hard choices. You can take that $200 you just made and put it in the bank so that by the end of the year you have accumulated enough money to take a trip to Europe or you can treat your girlfriend to a nice weekend. Hm.

The second story covers a Second Life initiative to help students in Kansas and Missouri. Since there are no mountains in Kansas it’s hard to take students on a field trip to study geology and fossils. So two intrepid educators have created “Terra World”, an island in the Second Life game, where students can study natural history.

“…Through their avatars … the students can see that the biota are different and know that they’re in a different geologic time period. They may see flying pterodactyls,” says Iris Totten, co-inventor of Terra World.

SF-Fandom is a fan-run moderated Web discussion community devoted to science fiction, fantasy, history, and mythology. Founded in 2001, SF-Fandom is part of the Xenite.Org Network of science fiction and fantasy Web sites.


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