Bringing video games in the classroom is a relatively new technique that more and more teachers and professors appear to be implementing. Video games seem to receive quite a positive response from both the students as well as the teachers. But some might argue that video games are not the best teaching technique for kids.
Usually, the arguments come from teachers who are older and not familiar with the extend of video games and the most recent designs. Nowadays most of them are designed in a way that offers more than just entertainment.
Video games have proven to be able to provide children with a lot more information that can both allow them to have a great time and educate them. Mutliple series help children become better at math, history, languages, and so on.
Intruducing video games in the classroom
Of course, some key variables need to be taken into account before a game is introduced in the classroom. For example, although they can be appropriate for most classes, it is essential to know which games match each class.
In video games, there are levels of difficulty and children respond to that level. A very difficult one will discourage students from learning with it. At the same time, a very easy game will not pose a challenge and students are most likely going to be indifferent towards it.
Important factors that affect video game learning
It is easy to lose track of time and start playing without stopping. If the game does not meet the final purpose, which is to educate, it is no longer a good pedagogical strategy. However, all that depends on the following factors.
A teacher/gamer is important. A teacher who has been playing video games as a hobby will be familiar with them. They might not be experts but they will certainly know a thing or two about how they work. A teacher/gamer will know when to start the video game, when to stop it and when it needs to be switched with a different one, to achieve maximum results. Teachers playing can recognize how helpful they can be, especially for students today.
It is important to remember that students today belong to the digital generation. In other words, they are familiar with video games, whether it a daily hobby for them or just something they do now and then. From hardcore pc and console gaming all the way to mobile apps.
Familiarity with video games
Video games in the classroom only provide them with a familiar environment that they feel comfortable in and that will help them focus on the learning qualities of the games.
Another very important factor is motivation and in the case of students, the lack of sentiment when it comes to learning. It is true that nowadays, most students do not feel motivated to be an active member of the classroom or do their homework. Through video games, teachers can help enhance the feeling of motivation in students. They can be used as a great way to modernize old teaching sequences and research has shown that children respond very positively to that. The motivation to learn new things is renewed.
Last but not least the perception of the teachers themselves will play the most important role in adding video games in the classroom. If the teacher does not value them as a potential teaching method that can provide great results, then using them correctly is going to be impossible.
Incorrect use of video games in the classroom is most likely going to have the opposite results. As a result, before they are introduced in a classroom as a teaching method, they need to be introduced to the teachers first.
Training the trainers
Teachers often neglect the importance of educating themselves in new teaching and pedagogical methods, and that can have a severe impact on the classroom itself. It is important to remember that video games are an excellent way to learn and enhance one’s skills and competencies regardless of their age.
For example, video games are used today as a way to help young entrepreneurs enhance their business knowledge, skills, and competencies. Most people today learn how to enhance their digital skills by playing video games.
In support of that notion, the EU funded project Triple E-dge seeks to enhance the digital skills of people who are in one way or another involved in the world of enterprise as well as their trainers. The project focuses on using both gamification and serious games to help people take the next step in digital literacy.
If you are looking for ways to get your students interested in school and motivated to study more, video games can be a great teaching method. Learn how and where you can find the right video games that will help them enhance their skills and also yours!