E-Learning and Online Teaching
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Three Focusing Activities to Engage Students in the First 5 Minutes of Class

Three Focusing Activities to Engage Students in the First 5 Minutes of Class | E-Learning and Online Teaching | Scoop.it
When I teach workshops about designing the flipped classroom, I always encourage faculty to think carefully about the first five minutes of class. In my lesson plan template, one of the first tasks we discuss when planning in-class time is to prepare what I call a “focusing activity.”
Dennis T OConnor's insight:

A routine of instant focus helps maximise every minute you have with your students. When they are with you in class Carpe Diem!

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Student Engagement Strategies for the Online Learning Environment

Student Engagement Strategies for the Online Learning Environment | E-Learning and Online Teaching | Scoop.it
Our faculty development unit gathered data from students about how engaged they felt in their online courses.Their comments helped inform our teaching. 
Dennis T OConnor's insight:

We teach best practices for online teaching in our Graduate Certificate Program at UW-Stout. This article gives you a give overview of those practices.

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Luciana Viter's curator insight, March 21, 6:35 AM

We teach best practices for online teaching in our Graduate Certificate Program at UW-Stout. This article gives you a give overview of those practices.

Alexandria Yaxley's curator insight, March 22, 4:44 AM

We teach best practices for online teaching in our Graduate Certificate Program at UW-Stout. This article gives you a give overview of those practices.

Stewart-Marshall's curator insight, March 23, 7:47 AM

This article gives you an overview of the online teaching practices on the Graduate Certificate Program at UW-Stout.

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Virtual Seniors: Older People Are Making Friends & Learning

Virtual Seniors: Older People Are Making Friends & Learning | E-Learning and Online Teaching | Scoop.it
Each week, the Virtual Senior Center offers some 30 online classes to homebound clients, from tai chi and exercise to contemporary history discussions and gallery talks with museum curators, as well as music appreciation and singing — even Mandarin. Participants use a simple touch-screen computer to join in, as well as to Skype, play games or use the Internet.
Dennis T OConnor's insight:

If you teach online you know how real and connected the virtual classroom can feel.  At the Virtual Senior Center, people are leaning to reconnect with the world. 

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Sharp online student has smart advice for Blended Teachers

Sharp online student has smart advice for Blended Teachers | E-Learning and Online Teaching | Scoop.it
Editors' Note: We asked San Jose high school sophomore Audrey Mullen to share how she and her peers actually use various edtech tools and how they really feel about their teachers’ blended learning approaches. The result is a straight-from-the-source playbook that no blend ed teacher--or entrepreneu
Dennis T OConnor's insight:

Shift your point of view and get a better understanding of your students!

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Rosemary Tyrrell's curator insight, October 6, 2015 1:40 PM

I don't like the snide tone of this article, but the advice is dead on! 

Ricard Garcia's curator insight, October 7, 2015 6:57 AM

Extremely realistic, and honestly useful for us teachers!!!!

NancyEvans@ATS-LU's curator insight, October 7, 2015 2:49 PM

This insightful student says a lot about facilitating a blended class.

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Dropouts & Moocs: Researchers explore who is taking MOOCs and why so many drop out

Dropouts & Moocs: Researchers explore who is taking MOOCs and why so many drop out | E-Learning and Online Teaching | Scoop.it
Researchers are trying to understand why the vast majority of students fail to finish free online classes and who is signing up for the classes to begin with.
One widely quoted dropout figure for students in massive open online courses is 90 percent. The number would be staggeringly high for a traditional class and has been used to cast doubt on the promise of MOOCs.
The number is simple to come up with: take the number of users who register for a course and compare it to the number still participating at the end. But is it fair?
Dennis T OConnor's insight:

If attrition rates are the measure of an online class then MOOCs fail.

However, attrition is just one measure (and not the best measure) of a massive open online class.

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John Bostock's curator insight, June 26, 2015 9:07 AM

About time we stirred the MOOC pot again - some interesting discussion following the article itself.

Carol Hancox's curator insight, August 3, 2015 8:43 PM

If attrition rates are the measure of an online class then MOOCs fail.

However, attrition is just one measure (and not the best measure) of a massive open online class.

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Storyboard That - Free Trial for Teachers

Storyboard That - Free Trial for Teachers | E-Learning and Online Teaching | Scoop.it
Digital Storytelling in Your Classroom
From first grade to graduation Storyboard That has engaging class activities for your classroom.
Dennis T OConnor's insight:

Looks like a clever story-board system with an affordable site license for teachers and schools. The teacher trial allows you to test things out. They also offer a free account.  Worth considering! 


These are the folks that provide Photos for Class, the great database of open source images that come with a built in attribution. 

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Bobbi Dunham's curator insight, March 29, 2015 9:32 PM

Cool. Incredibly easy to use. Another creative tool with appeal.

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George Siemens: Dual Layer Mooc? Interesting Spin.

George Siemens: Dual Layer Mooc? Interesting Spin. | E-Learning and Online Teaching | Scoop.it
You recently launched the DALMOOC, which you created with a focus on improving the social experience of learners – can you tell me a bit about the structure and format you have chosen?

We call it a dual layer MOOC, but we don’t mean that in a binary sense, it’s more like saying there are two pathways to take. You can either take a structured pathway – the way that you see with a lot of MOOCs that are run, say, on Cousera or edX – and that’s a heavy teacher focus with guidance. As in, you click through to the next level.

We’ve created a second level that we’re calling more of the ‘social layer’ and we’re basically asking students to engage with one another and to create artefacts that reflect their understanding and to share those artefacts.

In the learning process we need different cycles of scaffolding – there are times when you come across a new idea completely and you can’t really create and socialise around it effectively because you just don’t know anything. So, there may be a cycle by which the learner follows a traditional structure or pathway but as soon as they become more confident they move into social and more emerging formats. In a way they’re oscillating between these two elements of the MOOC: structure and linear versus emergent and social.
Dennis T OConnor's insight:

The actual title of this article is: "

George Siemens: ‘Students need to take ownership of their learning’

I focused on Siemens design of multiple pathways through a MOOC.  His description of the design as "oscillating between these two elements of the MOOC: structure and linear versus emergent and social." triggers some interest. 


Social engagement in any online class is a precious and memorable experience. 

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ExtensionEngine's curator insight, November 29, 2014 7:34 AM

"A lot of what’s wrong with MOOCs stems from how they emulate traditional classrooms" - @gsiemens

Bibhya Sharma's curator insight, November 29, 2014 7:35 PM

Dual layered MOOC.  I do see the obvious benefits. 

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Overcoming the Motivation Challenge in eLearning: 5 Things You Can Do

Overcoming the Motivation Challenge in eLearning: 5 Things You Can Do | E-Learning and Online Teaching | Scoop.it
Motivation in eLearning can best be described with a U-shaped curve: novelty and enthusiasm produce high drive at the beginning, but it drops off sharply thereafter, only increasing when the end of the course is in sight. It is up to you to boost and maintain your students' motivation throughout the course, so that they will get the most out of it. Unless they have the motivation to focus and sit through the entire course, they learn nothing at all.

Though every student responds differently, here are some fundamental guidelines you can use to keep your learners motivation levels high from that first splash to the finish line.
Dennis T OConnor's insight:

Engagement is the name of the game. These 5 tips apply to the traditional classroom, mobile learning, blended classrooms and 100% online classes. 

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Becky Roehrs's curator insight, October 29, 2014 11:07 AM

Creating bite-sized learning lessons is key..

Donna Farren's curator insight, October 29, 2014 11:22 AM

Interesting and reassuring to know ideas I was learning 10+ years ago in graduate school are still the foundation of good elearning.

Bob MacKie's curator insight, October 29, 2014 12:54 PM
4. Engage students with each other is particularly important. Groupwork may not be initially greeted enthusiastically but online collaboration is the future. Often trepidation is replaced by appreciation of new found colleagues with a common interest.
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Design and Invent with your children: Family Creative Learning Workshops

Design and Invent with your children: Family Creative Learning Workshops | E-Learning and Online Teaching | Scoop.it

MIT:


Family Creative Learning is a workshop series that engages children and their parents to learn together — as designers and inventors — through the use of creative technologies. We designed the workshops to strengthen the social support and expertise of families with limited access to resources and experiences around computing.


Designed by:


Ricarose Roque, a PhD student with the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab, collaboratively designs the workshops with educators and coordinators in schools and community organizations like Boys and Girls Clubs.

Dennis T OConnor's insight:

Parents looking online for a bit of guidance on how to help their children learn should look here!

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Creating a Sense of Instructor Presence in the Online Classroom

Creating a Sense of Instructor Presence in the Online Classroom | E-Learning and Online Teaching | Scoop.it
Creating a Sense of Instructor Presence in the Online Classroom. Posted on January 15, 2014 by Colin Stapp · instructor presence. To read more on this visit the Faculty Focus website ...

Via Amanda Carpenter
Dennis T OConnor's insight:

When you are teaching online you must know how to make your presence known to the students.   They must know you are there and you care!  This article runs down the basics.

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Amanda Carpenter's curator insight, July 23, 2014 3:18 PM

Good article giving a major reason students feel instructor presence is essential in an online learning environment.

NancyEvans@ATS-LU's curator insight, October 7, 2015 2:50 PM

These dimensions of "presence" are applicable to hybrid and online professors.

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Data Mining Exposes Embarrassing Problems for Massive Open Online Courses | MIT Technology Review

Data Mining Exposes Embarrassing Problems for Massive Open Online Courses | MIT Technology Review | E-Learning and Online Teaching | Scoop.it
Not only does student participation decline dramatically throughout the new generation of Web-based courses, but the involvement of teachers in online discussions makes it worse.

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JohnThompson's curator insight, December 28, 2013 9:37 AM

This data study seems to be conflicted in its analysis of teacher participation in the online discussions. At one point, the paper states the above but in the conclusion it states, " We showed, for example, that the teaching staff's active participation in the discussion increases the discussion volume but does not slow down the decline in participation." So does teacher participation help or hurt? Read the PDF doc yourself and see what you think. Also, the study needs to provide examples of what passes for discussion topics/threads in the courses that are analyzed. At first glance, it seems those discussions are seriously lacking in many ways to start, as it appears they're more "Q&A" discussions rather than the more traditional discussions that actually invited back-n-forth comments. Might be interesting for these researchers to analyze participation involvement in different types of discussions.

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Student Satisfaction in blended, distance and online learning environments

This video is about Student Satisfaction in online learning. Many SS findings are directly applicable to student engagement.


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8 Online Games for Inspiring Students

8 Online Games for Inspiring Students | E-Learning and Online Teaching | Scoop.it
Eight brilliant online games that can engage, inspire and equip students with the tools and ambition to approach a whole host of exciting careers and paths.

Via Beth Dichter
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TopMBA's comment, December 5, 2013 1:48 PM
Great scoop! You may also enjoy this article: http://www.topmba.com/blog/online-game-offers-scholarship-route-simon-mba-mba-news
TopMBA's comment, December 5, 2013 1:48 PM
Great scoop! You may also enjoy this article: http://www.topmba.com/blog/online-game-offers-scholarship-route-simon-mba-mba-news
TopMBA's comment, December 5, 2013 1:48 PM
Great scoop! You may also enjoy this article: http://www.topmba.com/blog/online-game-offers-scholarship-route-simon-mba-mba-news
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Simple Twist Improves Engagement: Mini-Scenarios for Assessment

Simple Twist Improves Engagement: Mini-Scenarios for Assessment | E-Learning and Online Teaching | Scoop.it
Scenario-based learning often means complex branching or simulations, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. You can use mini-scenarios to make your assessments more relevant and valuable. One of the big advantages of using mini-scenarios is that they’re fast and easy to build. You don’t need any special tools; any tool that can create a multiple choice question can be used for mini-scenarios.
Dennis T OConnor's insight:

A simple twist on the typical multiple choice question can improve engagement.  Try it?

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steve batchelder's curator insight, March 16, 3:19 AM

A simple twist on the typical multiple choice question can improve engagement.  Try it?

Ines Bieler's curator insight, March 16, 3:54 AM

A simple twist on the typical multiple choice question can improve engagement.  Try it?

Andrew J Gibson's curator insight, April 4, 8:59 AM

A simple twist on the typical multiple choice question can improve engagement.  Try it?

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Maryellen Weimer: Active Learning: In Need of Deeper Exploration | Faculty Focus

Maryellen Weimer: Active Learning: In Need of Deeper Exploration | Faculty Focus | E-Learning and Online Teaching | Scoop.it

WeWhat we next need to know about active learning won’t be all that easy to figure out, but it’s time we moved from generic understandings to the specific details.

Dennis T OConnor's insight:

Do you think active learning is easier to assess online or face to face. (You know where I stand on this one!)

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Online Labs: the time is now

Online Labs: the time is now | E-Learning and Online Teaching | Scoop.it
Even as online courses proliferate on campus, those programs face a challenge: How do you give students access to high-octane software and big data sets they need for their classes when they can't simply walk into a computer lab on campus and log in?
Dennis T OConnor's insight:

Preparing your students for the real world actually means going beyond the conventional hands on lab. Using the current power tools in the cloud preps them for their future.  

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Are long winded lectures educational mal-practice? Time to pay attention to the research.

Are long winded lectures educational mal-practice? Time to pay attention to the research. | E-Learning and Online Teaching | Scoop.it
Numerous studies have demonstrated that students retain little of our lectures, and research on determining the “average attention span,” while varying, seems to congregate around eight to ten minutes (“Attention Span Statistics,” 2015), (Richardson, 2010).
Dennis T OConnor's insight:

One thing is clear: It's time to get off the long winded soap box and pay attention to the research.


This piece is addressed to traditional faculty struggling to break their long lecture habits. As such it applies directly to online faculty who retained their long lecture habit when they moved to the virtual classroom.  


Recent research from EDx (Harvard and MIT) indicates that a short, 6 minute, talking head lecture from an enthusiastic teacher is highly effective.  See Optimal Video Length for Student Engagement: http://blog.edx.org/optimal-video-length-student-engagement/


It is difficult to give up long held assumptions about our teaching practice.  One benefit of the 'disruption' caused by online learning is having a database record of teaching effectiveness. As teachers we need to keep the lectures short.  If we've got more to say - chunk it!

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Scott J. Simmerman's curator insight, September 1, 2015 9:47 AM
And this has a LOT to do with employee engagement and with leading change or organizational improvement. Those lecture-type talking head meetings and events simply do not effectively communicate. More inter-activity and participative involvement are needed to improve impacts. Does anyone actually remember ANYTHING from High School???
Sue Walsh's curator insight, September 1, 2015 11:28 PM

The challenge before us!!

Bruce Hopkins's curator insight, September 6, 2015 12:34 PM
I totally agree. The kids of today are not going to pay attention to a long lecture. 15 minutes videos in a play list is much more effective for inducing learning that 2 hours droning on.
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Why Online Students Succeed

Why Online Students Succeed | E-Learning and Online Teaching | Scoop.it

By Brian Fleming:


Improving online student success can be overwhelming, but findings from a recent Eduventures study suggest that it is not as complicated as it seems.

Dennis T OConnor's insight:

Bottom line: back to basics... online teaching basics that is. 

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Is Praise Undermining Student Motivation?

Is Praise Undermining Student Motivation? | E-Learning and Online Teaching | Scoop.it
The failure of praise
Research has found that praise can actually undermine performance and self-esteem in many contexts. One study found that praise for intelligence leads to the belief by the recipient that their intelligence is fixed, and thus not something that they can influence through action or effort (Dweck, 2007). This is critical because intelligence is in fact malleable, and improved by taking risks. Students grow when they try something difficult that might lead to failure. Because failure is one of the most important tools for learning, growth requires a mindset that embraces challenge and the potential for failure.
Dennis T OConnor's insight:

I teach veteran teachers how to do something new.  My students are masters of their content. Most arrive with significant teaching skill and a good deal of anxiety at being out of their comfort zone. 


Any yet they persist. They take the RISK of failing and turn the opportunity into new learning.  


Of utmost importance in this article is the sound, research backed advice on how to give more effective feedback.  Indeed specific feedback trumps general praise.  This is an excellent and thought provoking read! 

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Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s curator insight, January 10, 2015 7:28 PM

"Positive and negative feedback are tied to objective standards of excellence, and give the message that the goal of education is to reach standards of excellence, not gain teacher approval." And there you have it.

Lisa Jones's comment, January 11, 2015 8:27 AM
http://www.aft.org/periodical/american-educator/winter-2005-2006/ask-cognitive-scientist. Check out this article on praise. I found it to be very interesting and the parameters for praise given here are some good practices to follow when giving praise. It can be done with without undermining student motivation. Don't let "titles" get in the way...call it praise or feedback...we all need and instinctively give one form or the other. Both articles are a great read!
Simon Awuyo's curator insight, January 16, 2015 2:26 AM

Praise is an incentive. Every one likes to be praised for work well done.

It enhances performance.

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Chilean Students invent mobile monitoring system to collect biomedical data

Dennis T OConnor's insight:

Learning is Global.  Entrepreneurship and the recognition of talent can change the world (one idea and one student at a time). 


Hear it from the source: http://vimeo.com/78736943


This is a feel good story. 

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Engage your students with #MysterySkype

Engage your students with #MysterySkype | E-Learning and Online Teaching | Scoop.it

Mystery Skype is an educational game, invented by teachers, played by two classrooms on Skype. The aim of the game is to guess the location of the other classroom by asking each other questions.

It's suitable for all age groups and can be used to teach subjects like geography, history, languages, mathematics and science.

Dennis T OConnor's insight:

Here's an online learning activity that will engage and energize your students. It would be a great back to school project. Skype in the Classroom will help you connect with other tech using teachers for a game based exchanged.


National and international connections are waiting to be made.


Jump in and have some fun.



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Dorothy Retha Cook's curator insight, February 9, 2015 11:21 AM

Thanks be to you for the post and God for the educational increase.

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Visual Learning In The Classroom (Any Classroom Flipped or Traditional) - Edudemic

Visual Learning In The Classroom (Any Classroom Flipped or Traditional) - Edudemic | E-Learning and Online Teaching | Scoop.it

Humans thrive on visual stimuli, and interaction. We don’t want to hear about the latest tablet, or even read an article about it. We want to see it for ourselves.


More than that, we want to experience it for ourselves. We want to press all the buttons, test out the apps, and personalize every feature. Which experience teaches you more about the tablet—your conversation with someone who told you about it? Or the time you tried it for yourself? The latter, undoubtedly. Our strongest memories are created in the moments where we are actively participating. Humans are active learners by nature.

Dennis T OConnor's insight:

Although this article is aimed at the traditional classroom it also applies to blended/flipped and fully online learning environments.


GET YOUR HANDS ON has always worked-- how your reach across space has changed.

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How To Get Into The 'Flow' In Your Classroom - Csikszentmihalyi !

How To Get Into The 'Flow' In Your Classroom -  Csikszentmihalyi ! | E-Learning and Online Teaching | Scoop.it

By Katie Lepi:


So just how do you learn to get into the flow in your classroom? The ever-lovely Mia MacMeekin made this handy graphic after watching a TED talk by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and reading his book. I haven’t read the book, but the TED talk is really inspiring. It is not specifically geared towards teaching or education, but talks about how to find fulfillment and happiness through immersion in activities – which he calls ‘flow’. If you’re interested in a bit of his backstory, you can read a bit about him here. Mia has extrapolated the ideas of his TED talk and applied them to the classroom.

Dennis T OConnor's insight:

Flow in the live classroom or in the online setting is both an art and a science. Here's a good overview of Flow with an info graphic that captures some of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's thinking. (Don't miss his inspiring TED Talk http://www.ted.com/talks/mihaly_csikszentmihalyi_on_flow

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Judih Weinstein Haggai's curator insight, July 17, 2014 12:17 AM

Remembering when my class and I were 'flowing'. Powerful and important. Keep it alive. All year long, not just at the beginning when the teacher has 'energy'....

After all - in the flow, energy flows!

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A Menagerie of Tools to Promote Student Engagement in Online Courses | The Sloan Consortium

A Menagerie of Tools to Promote Student Engagement in Online Courses | The Sloan Consortium | E-Learning and Online Teaching | Scoop.it

"This paper will present a collection of tools that can be effectively used to promote student engagement in an online environment."


Via JohnThompson
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Why games are good for learning?

Why games are good for learning? | E-Learning and Online Teaching | Scoop.it

Via Beth Dichter
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Francesco G. Lamacchia's curator insight, November 21, 2013 11:48 AM

Giocando....s'impara! 

Julio Cirnes's curator insight, November 25, 2013 3:46 PM

Please teacher, more games!

Ryan McDonough's curator insight, July 7, 2014 8:19 AM

Self explanatory visual on the benefits of gaming as a means of learning. Outlined are the rewards, mastery, engagement, intensity, exercise, readiness, and competitiveness. These types of graphics need to be displayed in the classroom. There's always parents who are unsure of how gaming qualifies as teaching. Can't they just sit their kid in front of an iPad all day at home? Well, in the appropriate setting, with the right direction and guidance, games are certainly good for learning. Some people just don't know that from experience yet.