Pakistan, as we all know is a developing country and we are currently going through lots of challenges and issues. These issues vary from terrorism, energy crisis and poverty to poorly developed education and health systems.Health, which is the basic human right, has unfortunately not been our priority. This statement is supported by the fact that according to the World Health Organization 2013 statistics, the health system of our country is currently ranked as 122 out of 190 countries. This is a very alarming figure especially considering the fact that one of our neighboring countries Iran is ranked as 93 in the same list. This particular figure definitely draws our attention towards issues in the health sector which we are currently facing.Firstly, we need to understand what is meant by health system. The health system does not only include hospitals and clinicians. It rather involves anything and everything which directly or indirectly affects the health of populations. The health system is composed of hospitals, environment, urban planning, food, nutrition and numerous other sectors which are directly or indirectly involved in determining the health of populations. What this means is the fact that by merely building new hospitals and producing more clinicians, we cannot make our health systems better. There has to be a multi-sectoral approach which needs to involve all the components of the health system.The next and the most important factor to consider is that we need to reshape our current health system model. If we want to improve the health status of our population, we have to base our health system on the preventive approach rather than the curative approach, that is, we need to promote public health. The time has now come where we must come out of the downstream (clinician) approach and move towards upstream (public health) approach. This is the only way by which we can survive and can make the health status of our population better. We should reconsider and amend our current health policy and we will have to develop it on the model of public health. This is the need of the time and if we want to survive and compete with the world, we must follow the public health model instead of the clinician’s model.At present, there are only a handful of institutes all across the country which offer professional studies in the field of preventive medicine. In order to produce skilled public health specialists, we need to have many academic institutes whose focus is solely on preventive medicine. The government should also support such institutes and provide appropriate funding to them, so that they can eventually become stable and sustainable. Thus the only way to make our health sector prosper is by working on public health. If this is not done on a priority basis and we are not able to shift our focus from clinicians model to public health model, it is feared that we will lag far behind as far as the health sector is concerned.
Your desire to build your future in the video game industry is possible when you begin finding video game tester jobs that give you the right career to build that future. Whether, you spend hours playing games, or you are interested in all that it takes to develop a console game you can build your future when you begin as a tester. Choosing a career in the game industry may be where you want your future to take you so finding the right way to build that future is important. This career can be the building block that builds your future in the video game industry.Before the massive games of today the developers of these marvels would be the actually testers as well. However, with the complexity and detail of today’s games many testers may be needed for just one game Due to this high demand video game testers are needed for quality assurance, gaining the experience as a game tester will give you the first building block you need to build that future with a career in computer/console game development. There are many careers available in the video game industry such as programmers, artists, game designers and producers. If this careers interest you then gaining experience in video game tester jobs is the first building block you need because most of these careers require some experience.A new computer game takes from 1 to 3 years to fully develop. The tester doesn’t come into the project until the game is almost completed. The reason for that is because there is nothing to test until the game is almost finished. Some of the responsibilities that you will be responsible for when you are searching for video game tester jobs include, testing the durability of the game disc, playing the game to find errors and record all the errors, glitches, logic and level bugs you find. Once it has been recorded that the errors have been fixed the video tester goes back and verifies that the errors are no longer there.Quality assurance is the name of the game in the video game industry without that the video game will not be successful or maybe even playable. As a video game tester you will be a part in making sure future video and computer games have the highest quality available. When the deadlines approach for the new video game you are testing you may begin to feel the crunch of time. That is exactly what a deadline in the console game industry is called it’s crunch time, and during that time testers may be included to generously help make sure the video game is at it’s highest quality. If you have dreamed of a future in the industry than video game testing could be just the right building block to that future you have always dreamed of so choose from the many of these jobs available to you to build that future.
Do you think that educational video games could improve your child’s grades? Do you think that educational video games could teach your child “non-gaming” skills required to achieve success in life?There is certainly a movement going on in the direction of implementing educational games into the classroom. For better or worse, it will be showing up to a classroom near you. I just don’t want you to get excited just yet.In this article I will discuss a study done by the DimensionU Gaming Suite, which is becoming a very popular educational video game that schools are beginning to implement in their classrooms. I will then draw a comparison to another “supplemental activity,” which is learning a musical instrument in order to give you a perspective on how to improve your child’s education.DimensionM is the Math video game of a larger gaming suite called DimensionU that covers other subjects such as Science and Reading. Below you will a read the summary of the study that DimensionU posts on their website.Case Study: Pender County Study (UNC Wilmington)Conducted in 2008, this study looks at the effects of DimensionM in the setting of a rural middle school of roughly 500 students, where only 63.1 percent of students were either at or above grade level on state-mandated End-of-Course testing for math.Mean scores increased from 46% on the pre-test to 63% on the post-test
Male and female students demonstrated equitable gainsNot bad. The results are certainly encouraging, though after reading the in-depth report, (which I downloaded off their website), I was not as excited as I was when looking at the summary above.Never Judge A Book By Its CoverMy opinion is that the summary is very misleading. They make it sound like they did the study on 500 students. Look above again. Isn’t that how you interpret the first sentence of the study? In actuality, they did the study on 34 students as it states in the full report. Is it me, or is that a big difference? I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being misled.The truth is that out of 500 students in that particular middle school, only 63.1% of the students were at or above grade level in their end-of-year exams in Math. However, the gaming study was experimented on only 34 of the 500 students. In the full report, these 34 students were all below-average in Math.Now, let’s look at the first bullet point of the study above. I don’t like the use of the word “mean.” The word sounds too scientific and covers up the real meaning of the point. Instead of “mean scores,” I would prefer “average scores” in this context. We’re not looking at any complex data here. It’s simply the average pre-test scores of the children before they began the “remediation course” or “gaming course” which I prefer to use.It’s also important to point out that the students who participated in the study were below-average students with failing grades in Math. So certainly, there would be plenty of room for improvement by having an hour of “supplemental” activities every week for 7 weeks as the full report states. The results were that the average pre-test score went from 46% which is clearly a failing grade, to a 63% which is also a failing grade, though greatly improved.The second bullet point is true and backed up in the report. Both boys and girls improved equally on average.So What Else Is Wrong About This Study?There are still some “unknowns” about this study and educational video games in general. One is, (and the full report acknowledges), that we still don’t know what the results would be of the games on standardized test scores. A second unanswered question is, How would the skills attained through educational gaming be useful in non-gaming situations? And thirdly, What are the cognitive processes used to employ these games and how can they be or could be applied to develop other academic and life skills?I have one more big question about these games, since they claim to have an instructional component to them. DimensionM has an instructional section where students can go to in order to learn the material necessary to move on to the next level in the adventure. They must master the material to advance forward in the game.I would like to know, if the game asks the exact same question in every level, so that the student can guess and use the process of elimination in order to move to the next level. If that’s the case, what are the students actually learning? They would just be memorizing answers if this is the case. Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer because there is no information regarding this issue in the full report.Is This An Attack On Educational Video Games?If you’ve read this far, you may infer that I’m attacking DimensionM and other educational video games.I am not attacking educational video games in general. I am personally in favor of some supplemental activity to improve test scores. Clearly, scores can improve with the implementation of this game. What I am attacking, is the misleading studies that put this game and others in a more favorable light than they should be.I would like to know if this game would improve the already above-average students’ grades in Math. I would like to know if this game can only improve a failing students grades to barely passable levels, or can it make a good student “great.” I’m thinking about how our students can compete with rest of the world and not just trying to help the below-average ones.What is the difference between two students that take the same exact class with the same teacher and one fails and the other gets an A? Is it about the parents and the home environment, or something neurological or chemical? Can gaming solve all of these problems?A New Interactive WorldThe full report also claims that most students are surrounded by 6 hours of interactive media everyday and are evolving into learning only with interactive media. I have a very hard time accepting this. Where is the child getting 6 hours of media from? At home? Well, the parents need to limit that time, moderate it, and control it ferociously.I don’t know of any geniuses or great minds throughout history that have developed their intellect by playing educational video games. The intelligence of mankind has not “evolved” with the advent of gaming.An Ancient Interactive Tool For LearningI get frustrated sometimes when I see the excitement when a new technology emerges that makes life just a little bit easier. Though I see the benefits and potential for educational video games, my view is that we already have an activity that we can use not only as an outside-of-the-classroom activity, but one that already has the scientific data and countless brilliant minds that have made use of it to their benefit.I’m talking about learning a musical instrument, and learning how to play and read music. If you’ve ready my articles about Leonardo Da Vinci, Galileo, Albert Einstein and Steven Spielberg, then you know that music has an enormous impact on the development of an intelligent mind.Below are three case studies and their summarized results found in three nationally recognized research organizations.The Journal For Research In Music Education In 2007 Found That Elementary School Students In Top-Quality Music Programs Scored 22% Higher In English And 20% Higher In Mathematics Than Their Non-Musical Peers. June 2007; Dr. Christopher Johnson, Jenny Memmott
The American Chemical Society Found That Nearly 100% Of Past Winners In The Prestigious Siemens Westinghouse Competition (High School Students) In Science, Math, And Technology Played One Or More Musical Instruments. The Midland Chemist (American Chemical Society) Vol. 42, No.1, Feb. 2005
In A National Report By The College Board Documented That Students Of Music Continue To Outperform Their Non-Arts Peers On The SAT. In 2006, Students Of Music Performance/Music Coursework Scored 57 Points Higher On The Verbal And 43 Points Higher On The Math Parts Of The SAT. The College Board, Profile of College-Bound Seniors National Report for 2006The Differences Between Learning Music & Educational Video GamesIf you read the summaries above, you may be thinking, “well, you just gave us the summary of the results just like DimensionM did and you didn’t go into the full in-depth report.” That’s true. And that’s why I listed my sources at the end of each study for you to read yourself. I encourage you to read the studies and see for yourself. However, I don’t know of too many people who would refute the cognitive benefits of music education. If anything, there are many people that are unaware of the benefits.Below you will see two lists: one that summarizes just some of the scientific data found on the affects of studying music, and the other that summarizes the data found in the DimensionM study above.Students Of All Grades/Abilities Involved In Music Education22% Higher Test Scores in English
20% Higher Test Scores in Math
Nearly 100% of winners in Science Competitions
Score 57 points higher on Verbal SAT
Score 43 points higher on Math SATBelow-Average Students Involved With DimensionM Educational Video GamesNo Data found for Test Scores in English
17% Higher Test Scores in Math
No Data found for winners in Science Competitions
No Data found for affects on SAT scoresAm I Being Unfair?I will admit that I was a little unfair towards the DimensionM study because I compared several studies of music against one study of an educational video game. But, there are other case studies done by this gaming suite that provide similarly overly-hyped results. And all of the gaming suite studies were done on only below-average students while the music case studies were done on students of NOT just below-average students, but of all averages high and low.I would also add that the music case studies were done by independent organizations that had no product that they were trying to sell. There was no special interest. On the other hand, the gaming studies using DimensionM were done by the same company trying to market its own product. Certainly, the facts would be sugar-coated. There’s no other way to see it.Parents & Teachers: The One Thing You Should Take Away From This ArticleClearly, I have basically weakened the merits of DimensionU, one of the leading educational video games in the market. If this game or another is available to your child as a supplemental activity to help raise poor test scores, I would do it. Yes, I said to do it. It can’t hurt as long as it remains “supplemental.”I would highly recommend that you try to get your child started in learning a musical instrument as soon as possible. The reason is because it takes time to develop the cognitive skills that come from learning music that will then translate to good grades and academic enthusiasm. The sooner the better.Also, the benefits of learning music are more scientifically conclusive than educational games. I would not get too excited or fixated on the idea that video games can improve your child’s test scores in Math. Games have a long way to go before they can compete with music.Technology cannot solve all of our problems!The long term benefits of a music education are too long to list in this article. If you want to learn more, I have written many articles about the effects of music education on the mind.