As anyone who knows me knows, I’m not a fan of video games and my son has to face having me called ‘weird’ because of it – better than him being called ‘weird’ anyway! But when I read an article like this one, ‘It Only Takes About 42 Minutes To Learn Algebra With Video Games’ I feel like I want to make exceptions. However, I am VERY worried this would be the first step down a very slippery slope and before I know it, we’ll be a gaming household 🙂
But what really impressed me about Shapiro’s article were the answers he got from the video game, DragonBox’s developer, Jean-Baptiste Huynh, “Algebra is important for MY kids because I want them to be able to understand how the world works: physics, science etc. You need algebra to understand the math behind these disciplines. Also, I want my kids to make good decisions–economics, finance, statistics all require algebra.“
And best of all, “We should create tools that children can use when they are ready and mature enough to use them. These tools should be available from a very early age. We are too much focused on teaching and not enough on learning. Teachers teach, learners learn. Two different perspectives, two different worlds.To teach people is to my mind not effective. On the other hand, inviting people to learn when they are ready and motivated is extremely effective. Motivation from learners should be key in school. And there is only one thing you can do there: listen to kids. It will create a much better society if we do that and kids will learn much much faster!” Yes! Listen to kids and concentrate on what each individual is motivated by.
Have you used DragonBox with your kids? What do you think of it?