Education: 21st Century Skills – How Games Prepare You for Life – Extra Credits

[Music] critical thinking communication collaboration and creativity these are the skills that will drive our economy in the future these are the skills that will prepare young people today for the world of tomorrow these are called 21st century skills these have been studied and discussed at the highest level of the educational system and have been examined by some of the leading experts on pedagogy but integrating them into modern public education is still a struggle it’s still a problem we’re working desperately to solve but you know what the first time I heard that list critical thinking communication collaboration and creativity I thought to myself those are all things we practice every day in games every day when you see someone play call of duty or League of Legends with their friends you’re seeing someone who’s practicing communication and collaboration when you see a child to build a monument in Minecraft they’re exploring how to use their creativity when someone plays Portal or Magic the Gathering or even something like risk they’re honing their critical thinking ability we’ve got to be able to bring this to bear for education we’ve got to use the things that games are so good at to reinforce the skills people in the future will so desperately need the problem is that right now as good as games are and getting us to practice these skills they end up having very little impact on people’s lives because most people playing them don’t realize they’re practicing them they don’t realize that the skills they use for the game are applicable in their real lives this concept is sometimes referred to as transference or transfer of practice it’s a well-known phenomenon in the educational world it’s just that often they’re looking at it going the other way for decades now schools have been facing the problem of having students who will do all right on a math test but not make the connection that that knowledge can be applied to many of their activities outside the schoolroom walls in games we have to look at it the other way almost every game has lessons applicable to life but we don’t make the connection as often as we need to games like Final Fantasy Tactics or hearthstone teaches about order of operations World of Warcraft teaches us discipline teamwork and often management skills even games like Farmville teach us how to function within a routine but as players we almost never see that there’s no transference there we’ve been trained to check out when we play these games so how do we harness their learning potential in schools well the most obvious way is to beat the student over the head with the fact that they are learning something which is what most edutainment does today but big surprise that method is pretty terrible so we got to find another route and while I would love to offer you fancy design tricks for making that happen there’s actually a much simpler solution teachers teachers are just as important more important in a game enabled classroom in a classroom that utilizes games games can be the part of the lesson that gets kids excited about ideas and teaches them fundamental concepts while teachers make that knowledge meaningful teachers in such a classroom would relate the things students learnt in games to the real world and build off those concepts reinforcing them and structuring them as tools to be applied to problems later in life hopefully in a classroom that integrates them games could also free up teachers to spend more one-on-one time with students while the class played the teacher could have meaningful conversations with small groups or sit with students who are struggling and explain to them the concepts they’re finding hard to grasp as a designer creating games for the classroom you should be enabling and empowering the teacher because there’s no silver bullet to education and games aren’t gonna solve everything but if you build your experiences with a teacher in mind there’s an incredible amount we can do to make a teacher’s job easier which brings us back to 21st century skills the key struggle with 21st century skills is that they can’t be learned by rote they can only be learned by experience and games by their interactive nature provide us with a platform for students to have that experience in a way that a textbook or a lecture does not through games these 21st century skills critical thinking communication collaboration and creativity can even be taught while other subjects are being presented a game on science can get students to practice collaboration a game on history and make students think about how they communicate a game on math could make us hone our critical reasoning and a game on art could push our creativity in an interactive environment we might not even have to carve out large chunks of time to build 21st century skills into our curriculum so when someone asks you why we should have games in the classroom tell them about the 21st century skills tell them about how important it is that we integrate them into our education how important it is that we prepare the students of today for the world they’ll be entering a world more based on things like communication and collaboration than learning by rote tell them how these skills can’t simply be memorized or learned out of a textbook how they must be practiced tell them how powerful a tool as an interactive medium games can be to practice these very skills and if they play games tell them they’re practicing these skills themselves already every day see you next week [Music]

100 thoughts on “Education: 21st Century Skills – How Games Prepare You for Life – Extra Credits”

  1. This is an excellent idea. I hereby propose that we add a Battle Room (a la Ender's Game) to every middle school. 

  2. The first thing I thought of when I heard about the "4 horsemen of the future" was how can a good concept of 4 critical points all coincidentally start with the same letter? I hate it when concepts force alliteration in the meaning of them, just for the sake of it. The term could be better, but no, they had to make it all start out with a c, so people could remember it better. And there is only a 26/26^4 chance for it to coincidentally happen… So yeah I get that it stands for something good and that a lot of intelligent words start out with a c, but still…

  3. that moment when you already have the song on your itunes that they play at the end 😀 (Love OCRemix!)

  4. Your philosophy on games is something I've always believed deep inside, carry on the good work 🙂 Also, showed this song to my 21 year old kid who's studying games design, text me back saying "Crying with nostalgia :D"

  5. I don't think this video pushes the idea of how games can hone 21st century skills quite far enough. As an example (albeit somewhat of an extreme one), I learned database management and data analysis skills from playing EVE Online for over a decade. These skills were then applicable to my work and school, and helped me get to the point I am at today. Games can push us to learn modern technical skills too, on top of the more abstract 4 C's mentioned here.

    As always, great job guys, keep up the good work!

  6. it's funny that you think these are "new" skills.  How did civilization ever get to this point I wonder??…you know, the wheel, aquaducts, electricity, automobiles, flight, space travel, computers…you know, all the stuff invented BEFORE the 21st century

  7. On this topic, the same skills I use to get good at games quickly, gave me the skills to drive on a near average level in a very short space of time. And has allowed me to reach above average in a similar time-frame. (But with the knowledge of the game you must also have a healthy respect for the results your use may have. I'm always on edge when driving because; I'm in control of a machine that can easily kill if I (the driver) am careless.)

  8. The problem with teaching collaboration with the current educational paradigm is this:

    What do you call a group of adults working together to solve a problem that they could not solve individually?
    Collaboration! Team Work!

    What do you call a group of children working together to solve a problem that they could not solve individually?

  9. Oh, that reminds me of Sequelitis Megaman video. And I am not talking only about "You feel like you are in school yet?" part.
    But I guess it suits your next videos with kinda similar topics much more.

  10. There are some excellent points in this video, and I'm definitely a supporter of the ideology that games are not just "brainless entertainment" (the sheer hypocrisy of those people who will bash the games I play as "brainless", then go vegetate in front of a TV for 4 hours really aggravates me), but most games actually do teach a very NEGATIVE lesson also, even while building these positive skills: instant gratification/reward.

    In most games, doing something right usually involves an immediate reward of some kind because if they don't, the player probably won't want to keep playing. Whether it be a useful power-up of some kind, a better score, or simply a "You won!" screen, the gratification usually comes very shortly after the action. (Exceptions exist, of course, but the vast majority of popular games fall into this category.)

    In real life, of course, this is rarely the case. An adult human being must learn to put off gratification often for years and simply work hard and slog through doing the things they need to do now, whether that be graduating college, job hunting, or just working out at the gym. Children who grow up expecting instant gratification for every good thing they do might be more inclined to give up easily on a hard project when their reward is delayed since they have never learned to be able to put off pleasure or endure hard work without an immediate payoff.

    Ultimately, while games certainly can do a great job teaching these 4 useful skills, you'll have to learn the real deal from life itself. Only by toughing out real-life difficulties and issues can we grow stronger and more mature.

  11. If you're going to use words such as "pedagogy" to make yourself seem more intelligent, mispronouncing said word detracts from that image significantly. Yes, I'm "that guy." That fucking pedantic guy. 

  12. The thing is: I learned more in 7 years of federated football than in a decade of gaming with the plus I've worked my body to a fantastic healthy state.

    Can you understand this? Gaming ain't somekind of miracle brain worker, there's a lot of other things that require your brain, it really depends on the person, for you, football may seem like a braindead sport, for me, it's like chess game at times.

    Well that said, I'm off to geeking hardcore. heuaheauh

  13. I actually used to work at an arcade in bensakem, PA, and I've heard from a few kids that they learned how to play Magic: the gathering in school as part of a lesson. That was pretty cool. I wish I had that in school when I was growing up. 🙂

  14. After hearing those 4 values, I had a hard time believing they weren't made with games in mind. Seriously, I thought you guys made them up yourselves, so when you said they were educators, I was blown away.

  15. if we want critical thinking in schools why then no one asks qustions about evolution?
    if evolution is so true why we shouldnt think criticly about that.

  16. My only problem with this is that as any fan of games out there knows, there are bad games. And getting these skills from a bad game and just getting a bad game to grab your attention is hard. The system would need to have some flexibility  on what games kids choose to play(Within certain boundaries of course). 

  17. Actually, most of those skills were being taught effectively to my mom's generation 50+ years ago, and later to mine for the most part; the educations system is now stuck trying rebuild what they foolishly cast aside in favor of rote teaching of the standardized tests.  

  18. I am working on an mmo that the teacher can even participate in without slamming in the student's face that they are learning. I am having some struggles though with making such a game and setting up 80 TB servers for the US. 

  19. "Fighting games are a pointless way to waste time, son."
    "you're wrong mom, its just like chess, just faster"
    "if thats what you think…"
    "just let me play. i like it. you like tv novels. problem?"
    "whatever, have fun… you could perhaps learn better things somewhere else.".

    funny fact: after studying combat mechanics and meta aspects of competitive play on that game, i learned that:

    1 – nothing is invincible, it might just be difficult.
    2 – being flexible, able to adapt to new situations and learn on the fly, is a life-saver.
    3 – the sooner i find the best strategy, the sooner i win.

    conclusion: i became a far better student applying these simple ideas into my methods.

    draw your own conclusion.

  20. why??? why cant this video be in french so i may show this to my school so that it improves! MY SCHOOL SUCKS!!!! how does a school so rich fail so miseraly at everything! lease dont answer the qeuestion "why cant his video be in french?" i know why. heck, i live in a country where everybody speaks french but i make videos 100% in english so if anybody here should be making videos in french it should be me…

  21. I'm sorry good sir but a system has already been built around games, simple easy ones that allow the child to learn while having fun. Then the teacher comes in when they have mastered the basics and say, hey look, it relates to this, which relates to this, I present to you a new challenge based on the knowledge you have acquired! Now do it with friends, now show others how to do it, now merge materials together to create something new! They are self correcting so you know you got it wrong without getting an F shoved in your face, keeping spirits and interest high. It's called the Montessori Method and has changed how I look at the world (Even though I'm an educator, of sorts). Though apparently past a certain age it falls short because it's based around how kids learn, and as you get older you learn differently, so that would be a good time to introduce them to games, when they move away from concrete thinking and into abstract thought.
    P.S. I love your channel, even though I doubt I will use these skills, fun to talk about though.

  22. I think the opposite way, in where it's important NOT to tell the individual "this game will help you learn". I would think that knowledge takes away from fun, causing a less engaging scenario for the student.

    It seems a bit odd, but it's the same reasoning a young child will stop eating yummy food if they find out its "healthy" for them. It's equated that healthy =/= not yummy, and similarly, where games are meant primarily for fun, learning =/= not fun.

  23. when I was 9 I could play through all of portal by myself with the exception of the final level, but I could do most of the advanced levels.

  24. 1:58 Thank you!!! I have been trying to get my colleagues to understand that for a long time. A lot of people really don't seem to get that games that try to hard to drill specific skills are ultimately not games, and so they fail. Then people start thinking educational games don't work. I had one express the fear rather directly that they thought the child would "get the fun but not the learning" (or something like that). Kindof like what you are saying. But what they don't seem to get is that they are ultimately not making a game, but a drilling session with animations. 

    Again though, you and I are of one mind regarding the solution to this problem. Point it out after the experience. It might not work for assessments, but at least we can get rid of those worksheets. 

  25. I am a secondary school student and in my year group there's a group of guys who play this internet game about learning every free ICT lesson and they aren't really studious students so I really do think what your saying is the way forward 🙂

  26. One game that could be used to teach these skills to a class is ace of spades,
    Ace of spades is basically a shooter with minecraft elements (basic world manipulation). In the game 2 teams spawn in on a randomly generated map and play capture the flag, and what makes this game such a grate teacher of 21st century skills is how these betters unfold, in this game the team that wins is the one that is most coordinated, most innovative, the most strategic and the best at solving dynamic problems. This is because a typical match end with both teams constructing elaborate labyrinthine fortresses that only there team can navigate and holding that fort while trying to invade the other fort, this is a powerful tool that should be used by all schools in there teaching of 21st century skills

  27. The problem is, in order to learn all these skills, you have to be quite interested in all genres of games.
    I have my creativity and critical thinking skills down, because I am inherently interested in games that allow you to take your time and think things through, preferably the turn-based strategy genre.
    I personally have no interests in online RPGs, MOBAs, and games of that sort, making it so that even though I play games, my collaboration and communication skills will be as useless as ever.

  28. This is a beautiful parallel. I love this idea. I imagine the hardest part about it all is getting students to recognize when they can apply the skills they've learned, because games –> real life isn't a perfect analogy. When you're first learning minecraft, you just do whatever until you figure out how things work, because there's no risk if you mess up. You might die, but that doesn't mean much. In life, you are probably way more averse to those risks, however, and may not be explorative.

    I think games have amazing potential, but there are some challenges to acknowledge. Great video!

  29. I feel some people at work with me in the past and currently, do not seem to sew-in what they learn in school to the task ahead of them are actually related. Maybe they do and they have just given caring for the minor detail of things.

    It's sad when I see others struggle or lose the thrill about anything – being tired is different.

    At work my co-workers seem to think that choosing to do the same thing (yes, there are other things to do than what is expected) will make passing the time easier yet it is mentally draining.

    Monotony is not how it should be then again I am the youngest person in a warehouse of grandparents and middle aged workers.

  30. A potential long term solution for a full education system, an education based MMO. Each class is essentially a guild where you work together and compete with other guilds over the span of a year with bonuses to performance. The next year you get rebalanced into a new class(room) 

    Example for highschool, you have to build a bridge across a river before another guild does, or better than they do. The bridge can be made of a list of metals and wood and an associated price or point value with them. The ideal might be to combine different materials that will handle the various forces(basic Newtonian no friction) like metal frame and wood planks to walk on. Everyone has to work together to acquire the materials and design/construct the bridge within a time frame. You could even have it as an event that (hw assignment) that you know is coming up and you can spend time working on it.

    For younger, they can do grind quests that teach them their multiplication tables, they can explore with geography and solve basic puzzles to get the treasure at the end. Get them started on pattern recognition and maybe have them tag along some of the higher level players (next grade) towards the end to see what they'll be doing next year.

    Primary inspiration- Everquest Next/Landmark. The ability to create and destroy as needed.

  31. Portal 2 fits this perfectly.
    Critical thinking: using the ability to distort space and physics to locate, open, and reach an exit.
    Communication: Co-op.
    Colaboration: Co-op.
    Creativity: The Perpetual Testing Initiative.

  32. Hi everyone I'd like to share with you a list of things I have been able to learn/reinforce through games ever since the 80's when I was just a child:

    1. New languages. 
    2. Computer skills.
    3. Strategy (order of operations).
    4. Resource management.
    5. Vision (ability to understand the consequences of your actions beforehand).
    6. The importance of trial and error.

    I could add a few more 🙂
    Thanks for your support extra credits! And thank you people for reading!

  33. Portal 2 can do all of this co-op does communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. It can also do creativitey if you allow the students to create maps.

  34. Communication and collaboration as essential skills? Bah! We should be teaching kids to solve everything on their own.

    I hate being around people. It's just mental overload central.

  35. Extra credits for congress!

    Seriously if you guys ran the states a lot of things would be going a lot better. I'd love to see these changes made in my country soon too.

  36. Nailed it, and If I could win the lotto, this I could finally build… and hope those with money and power doesn't do everything to shut me down because they are selling failure at high dollar.

  37. I have an idea for an educational game. It's a war game that takes place in a historical event, then requires you to learn basic math skills like multiplication and volume of shapes, so that you can tell the size of the opposing team's army, while also integrating critical thinking, so that you can, you know, win the war. It would also enable people to stop fearing loss, because I don't care how good your army is, even if in the grand scheme of things you anialateted your foe, you still lost one or two battles.

  38. The only problem is getting games in school. How would we do it and also we all know that in the 21st century teachers must give homework so how would we give homework. Thats the only problem i see presented is the how.

  39. Well. Performance in the games benefits from those skills. It does not mean that the players are practicing them!
    Can you imagine bringing the level of collaboration and communication you see in a random game of LoL to a project you have in your job? Why the average player would be fired so fast it would make his head spin.
    At best the games establish a familiarity with the concept of those skills, rather than training the skills themselves.

  40. For any one just discovering this and maybe looking for a supporting academic article. Enjoy!

    Barab, S. A., Gresalfi, M. S., Dodge, T., & Ingram-Goble, A. (2010). Narratizing disciplines and disciplinizing narratives: Games as 21st century curriculum. International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations, 2(1), 17–30.

  41. Hearing that sonic theme made my day.
    I agree if school were more in tuned to teaching students in a way we teach ourselves in games, it could be more engaging. I feel because of how school is taught nowadays, it doesn't keep peoples attention. Even at work, what motivates me are my co-workers. We help one another, teach and compete to see who gets the better outcome. It makes it fun.

  42. My school won't be able to afford that kind of thing, a gym teacher keeps wasting the annual budget on gym equipment which the school already has enough.

  43. Math Reflex is a perfect playground for kids, It will challenge kids to get better at math
    Plus it makes a cool logic games for adults.
    Are you up to challenge? Are you whiz enough to solve the drills ?
    Math is cool , you have to try it!

  44. It feels like half of what I do in school has no point in real life. Seriously, why do I need to know how to write a 5 paragraph essay analyzing a book? And why do I only get 1 period a day (in 30 day blocks, being cycled out with useless computer classes) of German, yet I get 2 periods every single day of Language Arts where we learn things like what root words mean.

  45. The thing is, I can easily imagine games that would blow away history or English classes, but I can't imagine anything for a STEM class that wouldn't be like the old edutainment

  46. except, sorry, but 21st Century skills aren't what anyone is actually looking for when you apply for jobs. What they are looking for is an employee who will do what she is told, do it on time and correctly every time. They all say they look for creativity, but when your resumé actually reflects creativity they don't call you back. Nobody is actually looking for creativity, or critical thinking or any of that stuff. Perhaps they should be, but that's a different topic.

  47. During my A.P. Government class last year we were assigned a small browser game called the ReDistrictring Game were the player got to gerrymander areas, teaching the player about its real world mechanic in an extremely entertaining puzzle scenario. After completing the levels we were assigned, I finished every level of the game with a smile on my face. I understood gerrymandering way better than any Youtube video or textbook could explain it to me, for I had first hand experience. I can only imagine the impact games can have on education if implemented on a scale wider than basic browser games; for every lesson instead of only a few per year. The results would be undoubtedly amazing.

  48. Actually, I think the way forward is students designing games in the classroom, not playing them. There's no research that states that game playing is better for education, but there's plenty that suggest designing games is. That's not to say games as a 'text' or artifact isn't possible, but that designing games is more on point towards 21st century skills.

  49. Many of these are great ideas but Try getting it past with a congress filled with old men still thinking computers are a fad, war is played out the same way as it was in the 1980s, and video games are more dangerous than guns.

  50. So, you've probably heard this question a lot, and I find it a bit hard to believe that with a really common theme throughout your videos being looking at how what you're looking at or focusing on affects the future of games, but I'm gonna ask anyway. Does it worry you to consider that this may eventually alter how an entire generation perceives games? That defining it as a tool so early in life might discourage those people from getting into other games because their bias would be that all of them will try to make them learn when perhaps they simply want a more casual experience.

    Also, as a separate question, are there any concerns you have for how this kind of system may change the dynamic of the classroom for the worse in some ways? Whipping out my paranoia, I could see a scenario in which the system you suggested in this video is in place, where the game is doing the brunt work of teaching, while the teacher would be there to supplement it and catch the kids who fall through the cracks. (Please correct me if I'm incorrect about the intended functions of that.) But in that system, the kids who are falling through the cracks and need to be in the small group receiving more attention from the teacher are discriminated against for it, which would lead to kids wanting to stay out of that group for that reason, in turn (like I said, whipping out paranoia) leading to a bigger social pressure because they'd be actively trying to interact more with the program and less with the teacher to avoid being associated with the troubled group.

    Sorry about the long-windedness of that. I doubt I'd read this much text of a youtube comment very often.

  51. Fighting games have increased my hand-eye coordination & reaction time to the umpteenth degree. As well as making good decisions (arguably) in a short time.

  52. U probably won't see this, but it just dawned on me that playing Resident Evil 4 can help with managing money when u buy or sell things to The Merchant. And with math skills and looking up howmuch money in pounds is equivalent to U.S dollars!

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