Archive for August, 2012

The Educational Value of Games: A 13-Year-Old’s View

In this inspiring TED talk by an articulate 13 year old home schooled gamer, the advantages of games to the learning process are touted.  Lewis Tachau argues that his Tanks game has increased his understanding and awareness of World War II battle tactics, as well as conferring a myriad of other benefits one would never anticipate.  Give this video a few minutes of your time – you won’t be sorry!  Read below for an excerpt of the short article on www.KQED.org accompanying the video.

Lewis Tachau is a 13-year-old middle school student and avid online gamer. In this enjoyable TEDx Talk, Lewis talks about how his favorite online game taught him not just everything he knows about World War II, but also how to socialize with his peers, and share his interests, knowledge, skills, and thoughts with others, and how that builds upon each others’ work.

“All in all this makes for a great educational experience, offering me a feeling of community, opportunity for co-regulation and training in self-regulation — a well-rounded education, if you ask me,” he says.

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Educational Achievement Possibly Affected by Genes

Is a student’s educational achievement predetermined by his genes?

Genes and Academics

New research from the American Psychological Association suggests that yes, there are genes that can influence a student’s likelihood of graduating from high school and of pursuing higher education.

There is not a gene that directly codes for academic performance of course, but the three genes DAT1, DRD2, and DRD4 influence a person’s “attention regulation, cognitive skills and intelligence, motivation, as well as violent actions” – which indirectly influence academic performance.

Dopamine

The culprit behind all this, it seems, is the neurotransmitter dopamine.  The genes mentioned above are transport and receptor genes for dopamine, and levels of dopamine influence attention, intelligence, and impulsive behavior.

Is Success Predetermined?

Does having the favorable alleles of the above genes guarantee a student’s success?  Definitely not, say researchers.

“No one gene is going to say, ‘Sally will graduate from high school’ or ‘Johnny will earn a college degree,’” noted Beaver in the statement. “These genetic effects operate indirectly, through memory, violent tendencies and impulsivity, which are all known predictors of how well a kid will succeed in school. If we can keep moving forward and identify more genetic markers for educational achievement, we can begin to truly understand how genetics play a role in how we live and succeed in life.”

Check out the full story below.



Educational Achievement Possibly Affected by Genes (via redOrbit)

Connie K. Ho for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online The debate regarding nurture versus nature is contentious. New research delves into discussion with a study on the impact of genes on school achievement. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), researchers have determined that…

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