Speech to Science Department
Teaching students and keeping their attention throughout a lecture has become a much more difficult task. As the head of the Science Department here at Butler University, I am determined to help the professors in our department reach out more to our students. Keeping our students interested and continuing to learn are the two biggest goals that we as professors have.
In Gee’s Good Video Games, he analyzes the importance of teaching a class as if it was a video game. A game player wants a game that is “motivating and entertaining”, and also offers a challenge mentally. According to Gee, if a classroom uses characteristics from a video game, the students will have a better understanding of the subject (Gee). The three most important traits of a video game that should be installed into the classroom are challenge and consolidation, customization, and system thinking. This past spring, I was able to observe multiple classes and talk to students about what they believed resembled good teaching methods.
One of the classes I was able to get first hand experience with was a high school AP Calculus class. Here the students had to “learn something new, and integrate this new learning with their old mastery” (Gee). He means that students will be taught a new particular skill, and be asked to solve a problem. In order to solve that problem they have to use the new skills and combine it with older material that they have learned over the years. For example, in previous years leading up to AP Calculus, students learned trig functions. Now in AP Calculus, they used these old trig functions to solve derivatives and integrals. Math in general is a great example of the challenge and consolidation that should be used because you continue to use the secondary mathematic skills in the higher-level classes. This will allow students to have higher thinking capacities in the future.
Next, we should all look at trying to incorporate customization into...