I feel now is a good time to come through with this idea. I am a huge fan of history, my Sky+ box is 90% full of history programs. Not all history, WW2 is what I love to learn about. Yet I remember a time when I couldn't give two hoots about History or Education. This period, as for most youngsters, happened in Secondary School. I believe however, that I have a concept to change History lessons forever...
Now then, I was a trouble maker, not a good thing, as I'm sure many of you where! Yet once a month or so, the teacher always used to show a video of the current period we where studying. Everyone loves a video right!!! These videos, for example a history program on D-Day, makes all the kids sit up, pay attention, and re-kindles that love of learning, even for a short period. Anyone who sits through Schindler's List, and then carries on refusing to learn, should be locked away. This short term "boost" as I call it, aids the children to concentrate that little harder. My idea takes this concept and adds a new dimension.
Video games in todays world are becoming more and more accurate, more and more immersive. I recently played Red Orchestra: Darkest Hour Mod. This mod has maps such as Juno Beach, Battle of the Bulge etc. When I play this game, I feel like im there, i dont want to get shot, i hide in that foxhole when the artillery comes down. The immersion and realism is at a new level. I belive this could benefit the classroom.
Why cant, a teacher when teaching D-Day, log on to DH (Darkest Hour) and play Juno Beach, or one of the countless Call of Duty games with the beach landings. Give some idea of what it would be like. Most classrooms today have massive projectors and surround sound. Playing DH on this would be amazing. The sound of an MG42 wizzing over the teachers head would be increadible. I can tell you now, no child would not sit up and pay attention to what is going on, after all, is watching your teacher duck for cover in a foxhole, pop of a few rounds, more fun than poking the girl in front in the back and giggling?
There is, ofcourse a limit to this. But that is because games are not made for History lessons. However, give me one developer that wouldn't make a game more specific for this classroom teaching. Lets say there is 3 History teachers in 100 schools in the local County area. Thats 300 copies of a game. Dont even ask me how many secondary schools there are in the UK alone. This would be a sound investment.
Above all, I believe that children would sit up and want to learn more about what is going on. They will want to see the teacher play more of this History lesson. Therefore the children have to work hard to have a lesson like this. At the moment, its:
"Work hard this week guys and on Friday we will watch a depressing video with Morgan Freeman talking for an hour"
It could be:
"Work hard this week guys and on Friday il take you through the Battle of the Bulge"
I can go on and on about this, I have scratched the surface here, and there are many things wrong which im sure some of you will pick out for me. In a later blog il weigh up the Pros and Cons, go through how this can develop etc. But for now, think about this concept, and why it is not as farfetched as it seems.