Angry Birds as metaphor for learning?

Or just an excuse for playing more Angry Birds?

The Chronicle of Higher Education has an entertaining piece about what Angry Birds “Can Teach Us About Universal Design for Instruction”.

In part, I think that Angry Birds is so fun to play because it helps develop our meta-cognitive skills. Throughout playing Angry Birds, one must pay attention to the strategies being employed, adjust one’s play as needed to achieve certain goals and objectives, and transfer what you have learned about a bird’s capabilities several levels ago to the current level.

In short, Angry Birds is a powerful metaphor for learning. As I was recently playing the game, I could not help but think: what if my classroom was more like this? Would students have a better learning experience?

Some of the suggested benefits:

  • Angry Birds involves practice without penalty.
  • It offers the opportunity for constant feedback.
  • Angry Birds has a built in mechanism for knowledge transfer.
  • The game rewards perseverance.

Some might question the real benefit of the rewards in the game but perseverance is clearly valuable in an educational context.

It’s an interesting analysis as long as you don’t take it too far. But I’m not sure the Higher Education Academy would give me a grant to investigate it further.

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