Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Education versus fun?

It may be no surprise to many, but it seems that computer games focused on educational objectives may not be the most effective way to learn. A game entitled 'Arden, the World of Shakespeare' was developed with a $250,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation and now its creator claims that 'It's no fun'! Of course it is not possible to draw any conclusions from one instance, but it is an interesting reminder that simply adopting a popular genre/media for educational means is not always successful. I don't think it is impossible, however, to combine education and digital pleasures, we only have to look at the work on blogging going on in many schools as examples of that. One of my favourites is 'Interactive chatting teddies', a development of the common activity in many primary schools of teddies accompanying children on trips and sending postcards back to the classroom - here, the children blog the teddies' adventures!