Gove encourages games in schools

Education minister Michael Gove MP discusses the benefits of computer games as teaching tools
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Education minister Michael Gove MP discusses the benefits of computer games as teaching tools

Michael Gove MP has encouraged educators to experiment with using video games to help teach maths and science.

The Secretary of State for Education discussed the benefits of specially created software during his speech to the Royal Society.

"We need to look at the way the very technological innovations we are racing to keep up with can help us along the way," he said. "We need to change curricula, tests and teaching to keep up with technology, and technology itself is changing curricula, tests and teaching.

"Computer games developed by Marcus Du Sautoy are enabling children to engage with complex mathematical problems that would hitherto have been thought too advanced. When children need to solve equations in order to get more ammo to shoot the aliens, it is amazing how quickly they can learn. I am sure that this field of educational games has huge potential for maths and science teaching and I know that Marcus himself has been thinking about how he might be able to create games to introduce advanced concepts, such as non-Euclidean geometry, to children at a much earlier stage than normal in schools.

"The Department for Education is working with the Li Ka Shing Foundation and the highly respected Stanford Research Institute on a pilot programme to use computer programmes to teach maths. We have not developed the programme - we are just helping them run a pilot. Stanford say it is one of the most successful educational projects they have seen.

"These developments are only beginning. They must develop on the ground - Whitehall must enable these innovations but not seek to micromanage them. The new environment of teaching schools will be a fertile ecosystem for experimenting and spreading successful ideas rapidly through the system."