As we have covered many times in our blog we are living in an age where new technologies are being developed and released all the time and these technologies have fantastic uses in the world of education and more general learning. A recent article discusses various learning technology trends of 2012. These include cloud technologies (software online rather than on a single computer) and flipped learning (spending ‘home time’ doing things such as reading and listening to educational podcasts and ‘lesson time’ discussing and doing group projects).
One of the trends that the article cites is gamification. It argues that games based learning is on the rise and it is effective as games “provide meaning through real engagement, immediate feedback and a sense of accomplishment that is well-integrated with sound pedagogy”. In fact, the article quotes a neurologist in saying “games provide an individualized achievable goal that initiates the dopamine-reward system, which provides a powerful pleasure response”. Scientific proof that games based learning is great :) Another mechanism that occurs was discussed in our previous blog post, ‘Neuroscience, Stress and Games Based Learning’.
The article also suggests that games based learning works so well because it is a safe environment in which to explore. I mentioned in a previous blog post (‘Unorthodox Uses of Games in Education’) an article entitled ‘9 ways virtual learning is better’ which is really worth a look and this makes the same point. In fact number one on their list is “With virtual experience, there is no risk. No danger. No loss of money or resources (other than the cost of designing and doing the activity). Minimal loss of time. Not so in the real world”.
This is a nice little graphic from envisioningtech.com to represent the future of educational technology. A large part of the visualisation is gamification, which they argue is so effective as it offers “instant feedback to acquired knowledge through achievements and reward systems”. Another benefit is that is allows ‘self-paced learning’. It looks like the future could be pretty bright for education technology, which could lead to some pretty bright kids. Let’s hope that some of these technologies can actually break through the red tape and stagnation of the education system.