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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Making the classroom a playground for learning (Innovations Report)

Playing computer games in school may sound like the kids rule the classroom. But European researchers have shown that such games can be used to boost learning.

What’s more, the special computer games developed by the eMapps.com project could help build communities of creative, networking children across Europe, especially in the new Member States.

In the past, the playing of computer games was sometimes thought to be unhelpful, disruptive, and potentially dangerous for a child’s development. Attempts to use them for education were not always successful.

But research has shown that people learn best when they are entertained, when lesson plans stimulate both thinking and emotion, when they can creatively work towards complex goals, and when the consequences of actions can be observed.

By using mobile devices such as personal digital assistants (PDAs) and portable phones, researchers in the EU-funded project developed interactive tools, primarily games, to achieve learning objectives and deliver the curriculum using information and communication technologies (ICT).

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