Just as I was getting ready to walk out the door this morning, my trusty radio started a story about using games for scientific research. Naturally, I had to delay my departure so I could hear the whole thing.
So yes, some scientists have finally caught on that our obsession with video games could be put to some greater use than leveling-up in Oblivion. (I’m sure this has actually been going on for some time, but I’m only finding out about it today, so that means it only just started this morning!)
The piece I heard was about “games” that give anyone — as opposed to just the scientists — the ability to participate in research. As soon as I left the house and got on the bus, I went online and signed up to “play” EyeWire, a game in which you chart the neural pathways of a cell … you and maybe thousands and thousands of other people. The hope is that eventually, the billions of brain connections will be charted. So insanely cool.
I’ve only made it through the first stage of the tutorial at this point, but can’t wait to get home tonight and play for real. Also want to introduce this to my mom and sister, who are avid gamers.
But all this excitement is making me miss teaching. How much fun would it be to work on this with one of my lovely groups of GED students? I’ll get a vicarious thrill, however, by passing this along to our current GED teachers … and being more than happy to help them develop lesson plans around using the different platforms.
What about you? Will you sign up for EyeWire or foldit? If you’re a teacher, will you use it with your students?
And don’t forget to check out the rest of today’s slices at Two Writing Teachers!