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University of Wisconsin-Madison

Rethinking the computer game as a teaching tool

MIAMI Christian Varona didn't rely on textbooks and slideshows to learn history. When it came to studying for daunting Advanced Placement tests, he didn't turn to a tutor, either. He just logged on to his computer and played some games. "Ask my son how he passed AP courses in high school, and he will tell you it wasn't the teaching," said Christian's father, Juan Varona, a special education teacher in Miami. "It was historical games." With many schools opening next week, there could be a lesson for others in Varona's success: Some computer games are a good use of time. Educators increasingly see digital games as a language that many students...