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The Truth About Game-Based Educational Software

Math-fact gamification Ask a typical educator about game-based learning and video games in school, and expect at least some skeptical responses. Many educators and parents worry about gaming as an educational tool. Research on the educational worth of video games has been mixed, and some educators point out the fact that most data come from short-term studies. While research on educational software is still young, increasing evidence points to positive outcomes for today’s students—despite the prevalence of headlines linking video games to bad behavior or lukewarm learning outcomes. According to James Gee, an education professor at Arizona State University, blaming all video games for poor results is like blaming all food for the existence of obese people.1
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Working together in West, Texas

When the community of West, Texas was rocked by a devastating fertilizer plant explosion, the school closest to the blast was severely damaged. Teachers were unable to salvage supplies and curriculum that had taken years to develop. But because the people from West and the surrounding communities pulled together to offer help, students were back in school receiving instruction within three days. Shortly after the blast, Imagine Learning heard about the loss of West's English learner and literacy programs, and arranged for West Elementary to receive a site license—which means that every English language learner is able to use the Imagine Learning program at no cost. Denae Buzbee, the District ESL director, says that since the implementation of Imagine Learning, she has seen students gaining confidence and improving their reading levels. “It’s brought us together as a community. It could have been a lot worse—we know that. We’ve had this horrible event, but we’re going to stick together and we’re going to be okay,” said West Elementary Principal Michelle Scott
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