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Kids are sick of Zoom too—so their teachers are getting creative

Tanya Basu, MIT Technology Review |

Zoom fatigue, after all, is real. Staring at boxes of yourself and others on a screen has been shown to induce not only eye strain but the flight-or-fight response; it’s not natural to have someone staring at you just a few inches from your face. After nine months online, the novelty has worn off.

So it’s no wonder that teachers across the world are trying to spice up their virtual lesson plans by meeting their students where they spend their free time and attention: on social media platforms and games. Subreddits devoted to education and teaching are frequently peppered with questions about how to integrate games and social media into teaching. Minecraft, the popular city-building video game, has a launch page devoted to teachers who want to use the game in their classrooms.

Beyond pedagogy, teachers are seeking to rekindle their connection with their students. One kindergarten teacher told the New York Times that TikToks keep her students “engaged and looking at me.” This fall’s hottest breakout mobile game, Among Us, has been integrated into lessons as well, with one student telling the Times that it can “help students to be emotionally patient with their classmates and understand different perspectives.”

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