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Thebrainisaverymalleablepieceofmachinerythatiseverchangingtobestfitthetasks

settoit.Thebrainchangesitselftobebetterabletodothetasksithasdonebefore,themore
oftenithasdonethemthebetteritisatit.Inotherwordspracticemakesperfect.Theneuronsin
thebraingetmoreattachedtotheonestheyinteractwiththemostsothesignalisfasterand
stronger.Usingyourbrainincertainwaysdoeshelpitsfunctioninginotherways.Thehuman
brainisextremelyinterconnected.Videogamesincreaseyourefficiencyinmanydifferentskills.
Theyworkbetterthanlargepartsoftheregularschoolyear.

Thereisalsotheobviouseffectofstandardizedtestsonstudents.
Oneofthechallenges
intraditionaleducationalenvironmentsistheassessmentoflearningoutcomes.Conventional
assessmentsaretypicallygivenonce,afteraperiodoflearning,andthereforerepresentonlyone
perspectiveofalearnersprogress,ratherthantrackingtheirprogressthroughouttheirlearning
experience.Games,bycomparison,allowlearningtobemonitoredandtrackedinrealtime.
Eachactionaplayermakesinagamecanbelogged,contextualized,andmatchedwithlearning
standards,suchasthe
commoncore
,togainadeeperunderstandingoftheplayersmental
models.(InformationTechnologyatNYU)
Takingtimeoutofyourlearningtotakeatest
wastestimeandcanhavenegativehealtheffectsonstudentslikeincreasedstress.Accordingto
TheUniversityofMadisonWisconsinnews
videogameshelpedmanagenegativeemotions
includingstress.AccordingtoNpr.orgA
survey
bythe
AmericanPsychologicalAssociation
foundthatnearlyhalfofallteens45percentsaidtheywerestressedbyschoolpressures.

Parentsarerighttobeworriedaboutstressandtheirchildren'shealth,saysMary
Alvord,aclinicalpsychologistinMarylandandpubliceducationcoordinatorfortheAmerican
PsychologicalAssociation.
Stressalonehasamajoreffectonthebrain.Chronicstresscan
affectthebalanceofwhitemattervs.GraymatterinthebrainaccordingtoBerkeleynews.Also,
accordingtoBerkeleystresspredisposesapersontomentalillness.Partofthismaybebecause
stresscausesarenewableneuralstemcelltoturnintooligodendrocyte.Thecellusuallyturns
intoanastrocyte.Oligodendrocyteproducesamyelinthatsheathesnervecells,inthe
hippocampus.AccordingtoBerkeleyNews,Thefinding,whichtheydemonstratedinratsand
culturedratbraincells,suggestsakeyroleforoligodendrocytesinlongtermandperhaps
permanentchangesinthebrainthatcouldsetthestageforlatermentalproblems.

Thehippocampusisaveryimportantregioninthebrain.Stresscauseshippocampal
Neuronstoretract.Italsomakestheamygdalaneuronsgrow,thismaysoundlikeagoodthingat
first,butitsreallynot.Thispartofthebraincontrols,automaticflightresponses.Thiscombined
withaweakerhippocampuswhichcontrolstheseresponsesandyourimpulsivenessyouhavefar

lessselfcontrol.Aweakenedhippocampusisalsobadnews,thehippocampusisassociatedwith
memories.Ifitisdamagedthatcanaffectyouroldmemoriesanditcanmakeithardertoform
newones.Formingandkeepingmemoriesisaveryimportantpartofyourlifeattheveryleast
shouldntweatleastchangesoattheveryleastwecankeepthis?Schoolasofnowisliterally
givingkidsmentalproblems,atleastputtingvideogamesintoschoolcanpreventthat.Thereis
alsomanyotherthingsschooleffectsthatvideogamescouldremedyorevenimprove.

Videogameswillbeabletohelpwithmanyotherthingsaswell.Including
reduced
impulsiveness,improvedabilitytoengageinmultipletaskssimultaneously,increasedmental
flexibility,Increasesvisualcontrastsensitivity,anditevenreversesmentaldeclinethat
accompanies
aging
.(Although,itmightnotbeashelpfulforstudentsbutforsometeachersit
couldhelp.)Helpingpartsofthemindhelpothersbecauseitisallinterconnected.Increasing
yourknowledgeisnotthesameasincreasingyourintelligence.Intelligenceishowyouprocess
informationknowledgeiswhatinformationyouhave,tobecomeafunctioningmemberof
societyyoushouldhaveboth.

Videogamesareuniqueintheregardtheycanchangetoaccommodatetheplayersvery
easily.
Ratherthanhavingasingle,genericexperiencethatmaycateronlytoaparticulartypeof
learner,gameshavetheabilitytoadjustgameplaybasedontheplayerspastactionsand
decisions.(InformationTechnologyatNYU).Schoolhasatendencytokeeplargeamountsof
kidsinthesameclasses,somegoodattheclasssomebad.Thatmakesitharderfortheteacherto
catertothestudentsandthusclasstimeislostforthemoreadvancedstudents.Whilesomeof
theslowerstudentsdonotgetthehelpneeded.Thisisageneralefficiencyissuethatneedstobe
addressed.Ifalllearningisindividualizedeverythingcouldnotjustrunsmootherandbemore
efficientbecausetheprogramitselfcanhelpmoderatethestudentstheteacherwilldolesswork
overall.Butgamesareapowerfullearningtoolwhencombinedwithotherexploratory,
handsonactivitiesandongoinginstructionfromateacheractingmoreasacoachthana
lecturerScotOsterweil,aresearchdirectorofMassachusettsInstituteofTechnologys.

Therearemanyformvideogamescantake.Studiesshowcollaborativevideogames
increaseastudent'sinterestinasubjectwithalesserincreaseinknowledgewhilecompetitive
gamesincreaseastudent'sknowledgewithalesserincreaseininterest.Thosearestillabove

playingagamealoneorlearninginaregularclassroom.Gamesdonotjustincreaseyour
knowledgeandintelligencetheyalsohelpyougainrealabilitiesthatcanhelpyouwiththejob
youwishtoget."They'reoutlearninghowtothinkinwaysthatwillbeabsolutelyusefultothem
whentheygooutintheworldanddothesamekindofthinkinginanoffice,"StevenJohnson
scienceauthor.Theydonotjusthelpwithofficejobs.Theycanhelpwithsomeofthehighest
riskjobslikebeingasurgeon.
Anothercorrelationalstudyrevealedthatyoung,inexperienced
surgeonswhowerealsoavidvideogamersoutperformedthemostexperiencedsurgeonsintheir
field(Rosseretal.,2007).Inanexperiment,novicesurgeonswhowereprovidedwith
experiencewithvideogamesimprovedtheirperformanceinlaparoscopicsurgerycomparedwith
acontrolgroupofsurgeonswhodidnothavethatexperience(Schlickumetal.,2009).
Psychologytoday.Withthisinformationmostwouldratherintrustthierlifewithsomebody
taughtbyvideogames.

Videogamesthatteachareevenalreadyexist.Onethatispopulariscalled
Argubot
Battle.
Thegoalofthegameistodelegateacolonyonanotherplanetandtowinargumentsto
convinceothersyourwayisbetter.Thegamestartsoutwithyoujusthavingtolinkafacttoyour
togiveitstrength,however,endgameyoumustlinkmultiplefactsandtheoriestomultipleideas
tobuildintoone.Thisgameismadeforelementary/middleschoolstudents.Otherexamples
includeagamecalledCitizenScience,inthisgamethemaingoalistoidentifycauseandeffects
aroundalakeandtousethistosaveit.Itevenincludestimetravelwhichcancapturekids
interest.

Videogamescannotreplaceallofschool,however,somepartsareextremelyinefficient
andneedtobereplaced.Thebrainisaverydelicatepieceofmachineryandmustbetreatedthat
way.Ifapartofalearningenvironmenthurtsthestudentsratherthanhelpingthemitshouldbe
replaced.Ourknowledgeofthehumanbrainisevolvingasitdoesweshouldevolveour
teachingmethodstomaximiseourpotential.