SimCityEDU - Training Future Generations from the Classroom
The classroom is changing. With new technologies such as Apple iPads, Smartphones, and just about any Android device, the classroom is bound to invent some different ways to teach children about real-world issues using the computer. Kids are spending the majority of their time online, and it was only a matter of time that teaching techniques caught up to this trend.
When I was growing up, computers were brand new and teachers had two computers for the entire school. Classrooms today have computer labs, and it is a more easily accessible item for today's school age kids.
Gaming, in the eyes of many, has not been considered the best way to teach. How many times growing up did you hear the phrase, "You have to finish your homework before you can play those silly games!" I'm betting a lot of you heard a variation of that at least once in your childhood. SimCityEDU is trying to change that statistic.
SimCityEDU is an educational game that focuses on teaching children the basics of running a city and controlling pollution. The children will have to learn certain topics like handling employment rates, and other factors that are affecting the environment.
While this may seem like heavy and involved topics for those of us who don't have kids, I think putting a game together where kids are made aware of the issues is great! The game is geared towards middle school aged kids, and this is what GlassLab had to say about their new game:
"SimCityEDU: Pollution Challenge! acts as a powerful teaching tool for educators, integrating learning and assessment aligned to Next Generation Science and Common Core Standards in the same experience. Designed for middle school students, the game encourages students to think critically about the challenges facing modern cities and the world around them. In the game, students play the role of “mayor,” addressing issues of environmental impact in a virtual city while maintaining employment levels and citizen happiness."
We all know that the regular SimCity is addictive, and you can spend hours online creating your world, so for them to take the same strategy and put it into an educational video game might be a good idea--if it works.
Middle School kids can be pretty picky in their choices of entertainment, but if their teachers assign them to play an hour of this game, they might be more engaged in the classroom. Solving real-world scenarios could be the ticket to getting these kids interested in learning again and make education not seem like a chore. Video games could be just that solution, but only time will tell.
Do you think kids today will sit down and play these types of games? Will video games be an important part of future education?