Friday, August 3, 2012
Melding Neuroscience with Technology for Education
Neuroscience, I believe gives us an interesting perspective at education because in the past 10 years, we have learned a great deal about the structure and function of the brain. Through empirical testing and research we now know that the brain changes when it is trained for tasks, called brain plasticity. At the same time, we have made great strides in understanding how human neuropsychiatric illnesses such as autism, schizophrenia, ADD, and PTSD result from dysfunction in key brain systems.
As someone from the serious game industry, I see an opportunity to implement the knowledge gained from such research into creative game based learning software for schools. Today we can now delve deeper in understanding the relationship between neuroscience and how the brain learns with video game technology. We live in truly exciting times where the education field is evolving because technology can actually help to transform learning by incorporating scientific methods that have been rigorously tested.
When it comes to education, I believe all kids want to learn. There exists an innate desire to explore and learn from their surroundings. They are hungry for knowledge and the idea of this journey and quest for knowledge is a powerful one. We see this in the application of serious games and game based learning tools; where kids are challenged to develop self-mastery in the task at hand. As they accomplish this, it triggers stimuli, an emotional response making them feel they did a job well done; further motivating them to learn and explore more in their journey.
In the 21st century, technology will help education by providing a new understanding and pedagogies for learning through specific types of serious games. In many schools around the world today, initiatives have brought about the surge in games for learning in all types of schools. Simply put, game based learning provides versatility for more than one learning style, and also can affect cognitive and psychomotor skills. Stay tuned for next week where I’ll be talking about how what we’ve learned about neuroscience fits in with game based learning; and how I think this is one avenue of approach we can take in reinvigorating the education sector for the 21st century.