Saturday, December 08, 2007

Educational Games

Doug Thomas, an associate professor at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication, is developing a game for students ages 10 to 12. He believes that games teach students to experiment and grasp ideas in ways that textbooks don’t.

"Modern Prometheus," uses the story of "Frankenstein" to teach ethical decision making, with the student being forced to make a series of choices that impact the game's outcome. The student must help the doctor cure a plague that is threatening the town. Do they steal body parts from a cemetery, a key requirement for curing the disease.

The students play the hour-long game individually, then discuss their choices with their teachers and classmates.
Thomas is also collaborating with Professor Sasha Barab, of Indiana University whose "Quest Atlantis" game is used by 4,500 students around the world.