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Teaching with immersive gaming

Dr Paul Howard-Jones

Dr Paul Howard-Jones

30 January 2012

Speaking at the Learning Without Frontiers conference in Olympia, London on January 26th, Dr Paul Howard-Jones, Neuroeducationalist at the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, suggested dopamine is the reason kids love computer games.

Dr Paul Howard-Jones

Dr Paul Howard-Jones

Speaking at the Learning Without Frontiers conference in Olympia, London, o n 26th January, Dr Paul Howard-Jones, Neuroeducationalist at the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, suggested dopamine is the reason children love computer games . Dopamine is a chemical “which helps orient our attention and enhances the making of connections between neurons, which is the brain's basis for learning”, Dr Howard-Jones said.

We call it TWIG - teaching with immersive gaming...I teach several sessions of my postgraduate courses in education and neuroscience using this medium.

Dr Paul Howard-Jones
According to Dr Howard-Jones, this also explains why students learn more, and are happier to continue learning, when they are offered the chance of a reward rather than a guaranteed reward, because uncertain reward is thought to generate more dopamine in the brain’s reward system. This suggests a way in which teachers can harness the power of games in their lessons.

“We call it TWIG - teaching with immersive gaming,” he said, explaining that “I teach several sessions of my postgraduate courses in education and neuroscience using this medium.”

This high profile event also featured Noam Chomsky; the linguist, Ed Vaizey; a Conservative cabinet minister, Ellen MacArthur; round-the-world sailor, Ray Kurzweil; inventor, Conrad Wolfram; businessman and Jaron Lanier; virtual reality pioneer.

Related links

Read more about Dr Howard-Jones

Read a review of Dr Howard-Jones’ talk published in the New York Times

Read about Neuroeducational Research Network

Read more about the postgraduate programmes taught by Dr Howard-Jones:

MSc in Education, Technology and Society

MEd programme -  Psychology of Education

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