If only educators had found some way to work computer games into teaching when I was in grade school, I might have managed to pay more attention in those fraction and early algebra lessons.
These days, the dream of using kid-friendly technology, such as games, to help teach children in the classroom is slowly becoming a reality. Take, for example, North Kenwood-Oakland school on the South Side of Chicago, where 5- and 6-year-olds are busy playing Reading Eggs, a computer game developed to help kids learn to read and write.
As the director of the school noted, the use of computer games in the classroom helps students learn faster, and the technology allows teachers “to spend more time teaching and less time marking written work and leading pupils through dull drills of words and numbers,” The Economist reported.
An additional added benefit is the ability to accurately keep track of a child’s performance record through the computer system.
Of course many barriers still stand in the way of extending the use of technology for teaching in the classrooms. For starters – there’s a lot of red tape. Extensive rules and regulations govern America’s 13,000 school districts, making it difficult for quick, sweeping reform here, no matter what that reform or innovation might be.
Secondly, it’s expensive, and with many schools already getting the squeeze when it comes to financing, few are willing to dish out their limited funds on new programs that haven’t yet extensively proven their worth.
For now, the schools that make use of these technologies are few and far between, but the dream remains that one day they will be prevalent throughout the nation.
What do you guys think? Does your child use technology in his or her classroom? If so, do you think it’s made a difference?