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From Idea to Reality Right Now: Games, Math, Sex and Launch

Saturday, January 16, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Bonnie Nolan
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From Idea to Reality Right Now: Games, Math, Sex and Launch


“Games are successful tools when teaching abstract ideas in and out of the learning environment,” says Doan Winkel, Illinois State University, who organized a  pre-conference workshop about using games in teaching.   Cheryl Bodnar, Rowan University, who helped teach the workshop says that the effect is profound, and she has even had students come back to her two years later with success stories from what they learned through the games.

Some of the games included in the exercise taught persuasion.  For example, asking a volunteer to offer $40 to someone else in the audience  - but only if the other person could persuade them to part with it.  This teaches the petitioner selling and persuasion skills from a target-centric point of view.   Other games centered around communications using blindfolds and white boards.  Or, another communication game involved giving out pairs of associated concepts to members of the audience, such as Ursa Major and a Comet, and without talking you had to find who in the room had your pair.  Still other games involved learning to see things differently and gaining insights that open the mind.

“The excitement of learning this way carries through the whole lecture,” says Bill Conner, Wake Forest University who attended the talk.  “You remain engaged and attentive throughout, even when not playing the games any more, because you are intrigued to see what happens next.”

Cheryl Bodnar says all the games are available with a toolkit on the Stanford Epicenter website, under Innovation and Entrepreneurship Games for anyone who wants to try them in the classroom.

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