In this new series, we are introducing our audience to the Learningworks Live team! Each post will introduce you to a new member of our team and provide you with some insight into their teaching style, the classes they offer, and their passion for education and video gaming. For more information on our complete course listings, please visit us at our Outschool page.
Featured Teacher: Michael Jean Felix
Tell us about yourself as a teacher.
I have been with LW4K for almost a year now. I also have been a Career & Academic Advisor for college students for 4 years where I mentor and advise students through school.
How can video games be used as a powerful tool for teaching? How can these games be used in conjunction with teaching to reinforce lessons in and out of the classroom?
Video games can be a powerful tool in terms of teaching because it can break the ice and ease any nervousness when it comes to learning. For people who may struggle with math, it is easier to break it down while incorporating the game that is being played.
When did you start playing video games and which games do you enjoy playing the most?
I started playing video games about 22 years ago when I was 6-7 years old. The games that I enjoy the most are sports games, action-adventure games, RPG fighters, and platforming games.
What types of games do you find the most challenging and why?
I think the most challenging games to me would be open-world platformers or sports games. I like setting the difficulty level to the highest when playing games so when the cpu characters are overpowered it can definitely get challenging.
Describe what have you learned by playing video games the following categories:
Hand-eye coordination is a huge skill that I feel that I have learned playing games that have time-sensitive actions. Learning how to think outside of the box, gaining empathy for video game characters, and learning how to be more responsible. Also, learning how to trust your teammates, building bonds, and even forming friendly rivals.
Why do you think that students today love playing video games? To what extent have video games allowed students to navigate stressors they are currently facing? (Virtual learning, isolation due to COVID-19, etc.)
Video games transport you to a new fantasy. I think students love playing video games because it gets their creative juices flowing. Online playing with gamers all over the world has helped ease stressors tremendously due to COVID-19.
How do you think students choose games based on their age? (Complexity, Cognitive Challenges, etc.)
I think students choose games based on their interests. If they love to create, they will gravitate towards Roblox and Minecraft. If they enjoy challenge style games like tag or other outdoor games then Fortnite can be a great option. I think whatever is popular also influences students.
What concerns do you have about students playing video games? To what extent do you feel that games can affect students’ balance of screen to non-screen activities etc.?
I think finding balance can be challenging. Video games can take huge chunks out of your day because they can be extremely engaging. Setting limits at an early age is key. You can do a 2:1 ratio. For every two hours of homework or chores, allow one hour of game time. My main concern is kids not separating the game from reality. Unfortunately we don’t have multiple lives or checkpoints that we can return to when facing difficulty. I think it is important for kids to know the difference between virtual reality and real life because it can help them avoid bad situations.
How have students used Executive Functioning and Social-Emotional learning skills in our LW4K LIVE classes?
Learning how to focus or plan will help you in every single event in your life. School, career, and family. LW4K really wants to help instill important skills at a young age so you can develop positive habits as you grow.
Do you have any questions you would like to ask our Learningworks teachers? Leave your questions in the comments below!