Should Students Study a Musical Instrument Or Play Educational Video gaming?

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Do you think that educational game titles could improve your child’s grades? Do you consider that educational video gaming could teach your son or daughter “non-gaming” skills required to succeed in life?

There is certainly a movement occurring in the direction of implementing educational games into the classroom. For better or worse, it will likely be showing up to a classroom near you. I just don’t want you to definitely get excited as of this time.

In this article I will discuss a report done by the DimensionU Gaming Suite, that’s becoming a very popular educational computer game that schools start to implement in their classrooms. Let me then draw an evaluation to another “supplemental activity,” which can be learning a musical instrument as a way to give you a perspective on the way to improve your child’s education.

DimensionM could be the Math video game of a bigger gaming suite called DimensionU that covers other subjects such as Science and Reading. Below you’ll a read the introduction to the study that DimensionU posts on their site.

Case Study: Pender County Study (UNC Wilmington)

Conducted in 2008, this research looks at the effects of DimensionM in the setting of a rural junior high school of roughly 500 students, where only 63.1 % of students were either at or over grade level on state-mandated End-of-Course testing for math.

Mean scores increased from 46% around the pre-test to 63% on the post-test
Male and feminine students demonstrated equitable gains

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So good. The results are certainly encouraging, though seeing the in-depth report, (that we downloaded off their website), I was not as excited while i was when looking at the summary above.

Never Judge A magazine By Its Cover

My estimation is that the summary is incredibly misleading. They make it sound like they did the research on 500 students. Look above again. Is not that how you interpret the first sentence of the study? In fact, they did case study on 34 students as it states in the full report. Can it be me, or is which a big difference? I don’t know with regards to you, but I don’t like being misled.

The truth is that out of 500 students for the reason that particular middle school, only 63.1% with the students were at or higher grade level inside their end-of-year exams in Math. However, the gaming study was experimented on only 34 from the 500 students. In the full report, these 34 students counseled me below-average in Math.

Now, let’s look at the first bullet point of the study above. I don’t like the use of the word “mean.” The phrase sounds too scientific so they cover up the real meaning of the point. Instead of “mean scores,” I would prefer “average scores” in this context. We’re not looking at any complex data here. It’s this is the average pre-test scores of your children before they began the “remediation course” or “gaming course” which I prefer to use.

It’s also important to point out that the students who taken part in the study were below-average students with failing grades in Math. So certainly, there would be plenty of room for improvement through an hour of “supplemental” activities every week for 7 weeks because full report states. The results were that the average pre-test score went from 46% that is clearly a failing grade, to some 63% which is also a failing grade, though greatly improved.

The 2nd bullet point is true and backed up within the report. Both children improved equally an average of.

So What Else Is Wrong Concerning this Study?

There are still some “unknowns” relating to this study and educational video games in general. One is, (along with the full report acknowledges), we still don’t know what the results would be of the games on standardized test scores. Another unanswered question is, How could the skills attained through educational gaming come in handy in non-gaming situations? And thirdly, What are cognitive processes utilized to employ these games and just how can they be or may be applied to develop other academic and life skills?

We’ve one more big question about these games, because they claim to have an instructional component to them. DimensionM has an instructional section where students can turn to in order to learn the material necessary to move on to the next level within the adventure. They must master the fabric to advance forward in the game.

I would like to know, if your game asks the same question in every level, in order that the student can guess and rehearse the process of elimination to be able to move to the next level. If you do, what are the students actually learning? They will just be memorizing answers if this describes the case. Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer because there is no information regarding this issue in the full report.

Is that this An Attack On Educational Video gaming?

If you’ve read this far, you could possibly infer that I’m attacking DimensionM and also other educational video games.

I am not attacking educational game titles in general. I am personally and only some supplemental activity to further improve test scores. Clearly, scores can improve with the implementation of this game. What I am attacking, could be the misleading studies that put mafia wars and others in a better light than they ought to be.

I would like to know if farmville would improve the already above-average students’ grades in Math. I must know if this game are only able to improve a failing students grades to barely passable levels, or will it make a good student “great.” I’m thinking about how our students can take on rest of the world and not just attempting to help the below-average ones.

What’s the difference between two students that consider the same exact class with the exact same teacher and one fails and the other gets an A? Can it be about the parents and the home environment, as well neurological or chemical? Can gaming solve most of these problems?

A New Interactive World

The full report also claims that a lot of students are surrounded by 6 hours of interactive media everyday and therefore are evolving into learning simply interactive media. I have a very hard time accepting this. Where the child getting Six hours of media from? At home? Well, the parents should limit that time, moderate it, and keep it in check ferociously.

I don’t know of any geniuses or great minds throughout history which may have developed their intellect by playing educational game titles. The intelligence of mankind has not “evolved” with the advent of gaming.

An old Interactive Tool For Learning

I get frustrated sometimes when the excitement when a new technology emerges that makes life just a little bit easier. Though I see the benefits and possibility of educational video games, my view is that we already have an activity that individuals can use not only being an outside-of-the-classroom activity, but one that already has got the scientific data and countless brilliant minds which have renedered use of it with their benefit.

I’m talking about learning a musical instrument, and learning how to play and read music. If you have ready my articles about Leonardo Da Vinci, Galileo, Albert Einstein and Steven Spielberg, you already know that music posseses an enormous impact on the introduction of an intelligent mind.

Listed here are three case studies and their summarized results found in three nationally recognized research organizations.

The Journal For Research In Music Education In 2007 Found out that Elementary School Students In Top-Quality Music Programs Scored 22% Higher In English And 20% Higher In Mathematics Than Their Non-Musical Peers. June 2007; Dr. Christopher Johnson, Jenny Memmott

The American Chemical Society Found out that Nearly 100% Of Past Winners Inside the Prestigious Siemens Westinghouse Competition (Kids) In Science, Math, And Technology Played One Or More Musical Instruments. The Midland Chemist (American Chemical Society) Vol. 42, No.1, Feb. 2005

In A nationwide Report By The College Board Documented That Students Of Music Still Outperform Their Non-Arts Peers Around the SAT. In 2006, Students Of Music Performance/Music Coursework Scored 57 Points Higher Around the Verbal And 43 Points Higher About the Math Parts Of The SAT. The faculty Board, Profile of College-Bound Seniors National Report for 2006

The Differences Between Learning Music & Educational Games

If you read the summaries above, you may be thinking, “well, you just gave us the summary of the results just like DimensionM did and also you didn’t go into the full in-depth report.” That’s true. Which explains why I listed my sources after each study so that you can read yourself. I encourage one to read the studies to see for yourself. However, I’m not sure of too many people who would refute the cognitive important things about music education. However, there are many people that are unaware of the benefits.

Below you will see two lists: the one that summarizes just some of the scientific data on the affects of studying music, and yet another that summarizes the data based in the DimensionM study above.

Students Of Grades/Abilities Involved In Music Education

22% Higher Test Scores in English
20% Higher Test Scores in Math
Nearly 100% of winners in Science Competitions
Score 57 points higher on Verbal SAT
Score 43 points higher on Math SAT

Below-Average Students Involved With DimensionM Educational Video Games

No Data found for Test Scores in English
17% Higher Test Scores in Math
No Data found for winners in Science Competitions
No Data found for affects on SAT scores

Am I Being Unfair?

Let me admit that I was obviously a little unfair for the DimensionM study because I compared several studies of music against one study of the educational video game. But, there are more case studies made by this gaming suite offering similarly overly-hyped results. As well as the gaming suite studies were done on only below-average students while the music case studies were done on students of NOT just below-average students, but coming from all averages high and low.

I’d personally also add that the music case studies were created by independent organizations that had no product that we were holding trying to sell. There was no special interest. On the other hand, the gaming studies using DimensionM were produced by the same company trying to market its own product. Certainly, the important points would be sugar-coated. There’s no other way to see it.

Parents & Teachers: The single thing You Should Take Away Using this Article

Clearly, We have basically weakened the merits of DimensionU, one of the top educational video games available in the market. If this game or some other is available to your child as a supplemental activity to help raise poor test scores, I’d personally do it. Yes, I thought to do it. It can’t hurt as long as it remains “supplemental.”

I would highly recommend that you attempt to get your child entered learning a musical instrument as soon as possible. The reason is because it will take time to develop the cognitive skills that can from learning music that will then translate to good grades and academic enthusiasm. The sooner the better.

Also, the main advantages of learning music will be more scientifically conclusive than educational games. I would not get too excited or fixated on the idea that video games can boost your child’s test scores in Math. Games have a long way to go before they could compete with music.

Technology cannot solve the whole problems!

The long term great things about a music education are far too long to list on this page. If you want to learn more, I’ve written many articles in regards to the effects of music education on the mind.


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