Today I had the opportunity to hear “the rest of [a] story” which reaffirmed my belief in the power of gaming and simulations for learning. Several months ago we all watched an amazingly perfect landing of a JetBlue flight landing in LAX with broken front landing gear. In fact the landing was smoother than many that I have seen with working front landing gear. When the pilot was questioned as to how he pulled off such a perfect landing he simply responded, “well, I’d done it 8 times before (and only crashed twice)”. The pilot was referring to the simulations he had performed previously to make the task so automatic that when the real event occurred he knew exactly how to land a plane, even under very strenuous circumstances.
As teachers it’s important to think about finding ways to allow our students to fail (in a safe environment) so that they will have the necessary experience when perfect performance is required. For more information, check out gaming and simulations