Video Games in the Classroom

In a recent interview conducted with Prof. Jordan Shapiro of Temple University, he stated that although digital tools such as video games can be very beneficial for learning, nothing will ever replace a good teacher. Good teachers can be found in schools everywhere, regardless of whether its a public vs private school education or the particular neighborhood’s socio-economic status.



Students these days are showing a lack of engagement in classes. Or so some people say. Can technology be the answer to our pedagogic prayers? Perhaps, but we should definitely not be banking on it. Not all of the old teaching and communication methods are boring. Some are outdated, yes, but others remain consistently relevant.


The fact is that if a student doesn’t want to learn or be taught, nothing will make it otherwise. Human teacher, robot teacher, cyborg teacher. For a student to become engaged in learning and studying, we need to do a lot more than simply hall in a video game into class.

Prof. Shapiro says that when executed properly, video games in class may a wonderful way to keep the learning content in its context, thus making it more relevant to today’s students. A student these days needs to know why what he is learning matters, NOW. Not in three, five, or ten years. Video games can help achieve that, and they are great tools for educational purposes.


It all comes down to the way the system operates. Shapiro says that fun and learning should not be separate ideas. Learning is hard, says Prof. Shapiro. Learning something new sometimes means that you have to break away from your old ways and undertake new ones. It means changing the way you think and act, and that can be very unpleasant: “there’s this notion in American culture that we should never feel any discomfort, and our goal should be to eliminate that.”

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