This story came to mind when I heard about the concept of Tangential Learning. Many educators I have talked to have not heard of this concept, and yet, I would argue EVERY educator and parent should know about it. So in a nutshell, what exactly is it? Well the classic definition is this: Tangential learning is the process by which people educate themselves on a topic when it is presented in a context that they enjoy (source). A really great video on the concept can be viewed below: ****There is a 4 letter word in this video*** For Parents and Teachers its worth watching anyway.
I experienced tangential learning as a child watching the cartoons and movies. How many of you remember Bugs Bunny Cartoons? These cartoons featured Al Capone type Mobsters, Beethoven Musical Selections, and Napoleonic adversaries galore. It wasn't until years later that I realized the cartoons contained snippets of classic music and art that I was able to remember for schoolwork and quizzes.
Today's gaming climate offers an incredible amount of tangential learning possibilities. From the classic WWII games like Medal of Honor to the most recent Assassin's Creed, history topics abound.