Friday, February 8, 2008

Halo 3 in the Schools

Halo 3 in the physics class or any class?

Some schools have explored the possibility of using the popular Halo 3 video game as a teaching tool. Teachers see the possibilities for teaching physics concepts as well as other skills. To explore further, check this story featured in a recent edition of Digital Directions. In case, you are not familiar with Halo 3, you need to read this article to see what is sweeping the youth culture.

Post your response to the article and the implications of using video games in schools as a learning tool.
Image taken from


Melissa Jordan said...

Melissa Jordan writes......Reading the article link about Halo was the first time I heard about this program. I must say this is not something that I agree with. First of all, as a female this robotic tool is not something I would enjoy using to learn. Second of all the program has the users injuring or killing others, what message is this sending to the students. I do agree that a nice benefit is the students being linked to others around the world, but when I went to school this is what penpals were for. I understand there is some physics learning in this process but are the students really seeing it. I think a different type of halo tool would be a lot more beneficial to use in the school systems, perhaps something that appeals to both genders and can be applied to multiple subjects.

Aaron Brown said...

I can understand the thought process that goes into thinking this is a possible learning tool. We all use contemporary movies once in a while to illustrate concepts. I use lots of space exploration movies to explore concepts. It might be possible to use this game too in a similar fashion. I do have reservations using a violent video game to do this though. I wouldn't use a fight scene in Gladiator to explore momentum. Also, I get nervous when we talk about how interesting video games are and how boring text books and pencils are. We can't make everything a fun interactive game. Some day the student will need to get a job, and for some, an attention span longer than 5 minutes might be required. I think as educators it might be our goal not to adapt to the video game generation, but maybe open their eyes to the world beyond X-box and Halo 3.

tina miller said...

Wonder what the impact on this would be given the findings last week about the differences between girls and boys and video games. I heard the news story in passing. Was it they determined boys were better or liked it better?? Whatever, if there is a difference in learning or using video based on sex, maybe that's another reason to be cautious.

Tony Ruiz said...

Pretty interesting comments. I have some reservations about using this particular game despite the good intentions of the teachers. Honestly, does one expect students to follow through with projects? I see my own students sneek a peek on their favorite websites at the first chance they get. Alternatively, how about writing to these software companies requesting more educational software. For example, a high school student doing a virtual surgical procedure in a biology class. Apologies if this sounds like "Star Trek", but something like that would really motivate me to learn biology.

Sharon Kirby said...

I think that everyone has a valid point about the violance that this program has. I have "played" Halo 3, I really wasn't very good at it, but it was interesting to see how you really get sucked in. The game really is goal oriented. I chaperoned a tournament that my FIRST Robotics students held. It was interesting to see how students who would probably never interact in school, were teamates! However, I will agree with Aaron here about its usefulness in the classroom. Since when did teachers become entertainers. If I'm going to be an entertainer, then why would I need to be certified, isn't that the message we are sending. Most of our entertainers don't even finish high school! It would be nice to have software that is more visual like Halo 3, but again, who wants to pay for all that technology that isn't a necessity for our students education.

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