Video games teach kids in the classroom

Video games teach kids in the classroom
By: Arnold Wyrick

CARBONDALE, Ill. - The video gaming industry outsells movies in Hollywood.  Now a professor at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale is trying to tap into the gaming craze by using video games to teach kids math, science and their A-B-C's.
"This is the gaming generation that has grown up playing games.  Even the teachers themselves have grown up playing games.  The idea of using video gaming is more acceptable to them," said Doctor Christian Loh, assistant professor of Instructional Design and Technology at SIU.
His students are learning how to take a simply video game and incorporate learning tutorials for virtually any subject.
"If you can have the teaching material presented in a video format they will be more interested to try them out.  Rather than sitting in a class and watching a Powerpoint presentation or a lesson on a dry erase board," Doctor Loh said.
And as often as kids these days go online or turn on their X-boxes and Playstations to play a video game in a virtual world, that world may soon become a real world teaching them in the classroom.
"Much more research is needed on this matter," said Loh.  "But we are hoping that with more research into video games that it could be used more efficiently in school and in learning.  And that we'll be able to 'recapture education.'"

It's a quest that Doctor Loh and his students at SIU are already on.  Dr. Loh is working on developing a college class for a degree in video gaming programming.