When video games are placed in school as educational tools, it continues to move us away from helping children develop skills and internal motivations that lead to success.
As Ms. Paul says in this article: “The concepts of work and play have become farcically reversed: schoolwork is meant to be superfun; play, like homework, is meant to teach.”
Play is a great time to learn because of the intrinsic learning that goes on. It happens when children naturally challenge themselves in play – with relationships, physical movement, and mentally piecing together everything that is around them. All without the extrinsic rewards of flashing screens, high scores, and the next level.
How much are we weakening the “muscles of intrinsic motivation” for the sake of letting someone program a happy and immediate response to a pre-determined course of action? If you’ve every played a video game for hours on end, you know the feeling of a weakened muscle of intrinsic motivation. As you stretch your legs to get up for the first time in hours, and re-focus your eyes on actual three dimensional objects, you know that time has been wasted and you’ve set yourself back even a few hours. Let’s not introduce that to our kids in school.