notes on learning, design, tools, & life

Video Games & Making Math More Like Things Students Like

Great new talk from Dan Meyer looking at what we can learn from video games. Lessons learned:

  1. Video games get to the point.
  2. The real world is overrated.
  3. Video games have an open middle.
  4. The middle grows more challenging and more interesting at the same time.
  5. Instruction is visual, embedded in practice, and only as needed.
  6. Video games lower the cost of failure.

As usual, Dan takes something that could go in a really simplistic direction and breathes a lot of life into it.

I’d also say it’s worth taking a look at this presentation as a model for lecturing and presenting ideas persuasively. He brings in his in-laws in a great way as testers of the games he investigates, using video and humor to great effect. He also has quick ways to involve the audience by having them make guesses at big numbers before he shows them on the slides, or tackle a quick mental math problem and share their strategy with a neighbor.

Definitely worth a watch.