Approx 64 million kids ages 8-18 spend an average of 7.5 hours a day playing video games. Some schools are considering incorporating video games into learning, but parents are cautious about the time kids spend strategizing how to beat the next level of World of Warcraft. Sitting in front of a screen for hours seems mindless, but playing video games can help make kids sharper and smarter. Playing video games is like a Sudoku puzzle or word search in hyper-drive. Working through varying levels of difficulty exercises your brain like skill puzzles do. Many educators believe that video games combine instruction and demos, a more effective learning technique than the style now in use. A study at the U of Michigan concluded video games that exercise working memories can enhance abstract reasoning and problem-solving skills, which may inpact future educational and occupational success. Video games can enable STEM education from elementary school through college, as they teach skills such as analytical thinking, multitasking, strategizing, problem-solving, and team building. Traditional learning is done with text books, but games are best at teaching on a deeper level. Kids also have the opportunity to learn how games are made at technology-driven summer camps offering programs in video game design and programming on over 63 college campuses nationwide. Today’s guest feels that video games develop critical thinking and crucial life skills. Erin-Michelle Margolis is the COO of Game Dev House, an organization that pairs video game professionals with students who want to learn game development. She has worked in the video game industry for several years as well as with iD Tech Camps at Harvard and Princeton. After the interview, go to After Hours at Jersey Coastal Live for more info.
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