Siouxland university uses video games to teach life lessons
By Sarah Te Slaa, Multimedia Producer/ Anchor - email
SIOUX CITY (KTIV) -
Video games can be a fun way to relax and take your mind off the day.
They can also be a useful teaching tool, and one class at a Siouxland university is using video games to teach students some life lessons.
Megan Sherrill is playing a video game during her class at Briar Cliff University.
But flying a spaceship and shooting asteroids is actually part of her classwork. Sherill created and designed this game for her computer programming class.
"We design video games instead of business applications because this is a lot more fun and a little more interesting, but you learn the exact same concepts as you would a business application," said Sherrill.
Starting with video games eases students into the course and teaches them the fundamentals.
"It's a great teaching tool to learn the basics of computer programming," said Sherrill.
"It's fun," said Tom Kleen, an Assistant Professor of Computer Science. "It's problem solving and when you actually get the program to work, it feels pretty good."
While the students learn the basics of computers, many of the skills they pick up from the lessons go beyond the keyboard and screen.
"It teaches you how to pay attention to detail and it teaches you patience too," said Kleen. "I'd like to think that they get better at problem solving by doing this because it kind of trains you to think logically and to take a problem and to break it down into pieces and take it one step at a time."
For Sherill, the life lessons she's learned will stick with her forever even if she decides to go into computer programming or not when she graduates.
"I found that I can use it elsewhere other than just writing a computer program. I use it in the rest of my life."
That's why, she says, video games have made her a more well-rounded student.
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