09th Dec2019

How Video Games Can Be an Educational Tool

by James Smith

If you are a dedicated computer games fan, you know that mastering any game or even skill is quite time-consuming. You have probably heard dozens of skeptic comments and neglectful remarks from the older generation considering your hobby harmful waste of time. Well, after reading this, you’ll be fully equipped with a few powerful arguments to prove that video games are an important step towards better education.

Let’s see a list of the skills that will be upgraded due to playing a video game:

  • Improving logical and critical thinking
  • Practicing project-solving skills
  • Trying out one’s logistics solutions
  • Exercising in management
  • Generating a strategy
  • Working in a team
  • Multitasking
  • Developing math and reading skills
  • Dealing with frustration and challenges
  • Improving memory (all types) and concentration
  • Getting familiar with the real-world skills through simulation

Most of the mentioned points are now discussed by prominent educators, who would like to use the same powerful templates in teaching and learning. Well, it’s time to discover gamification and all the impressive aspects it can contribute to our education system.

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What is it?

Needless to say, gamification has already entered an educational niche as one of the innovative learning and interacting methodologies. Don’t mistake the old-school games with the gamified teaching & learning activities though!

Gamification in education is a process of integrating a specific video game into one’s learning environment. You have to remember that every game used during the class has to be its natural part and later used as learning material. At this point, we have to stress out that most of the video games exploited by the modern teachers are designed by the professional educators and implemented just after being approved by the respective institution.

It’s true that in past video games were only associated with teenage violence strikes. However, the entire concept of playing a video game has gone way further than encouraging any type of social reaction. Why did it get that popular? PaperLeaf canadian writers say, there is nothing holding children from playing computer games, so careful teachers and parents decided to use this tendency for the sake of education.

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How does it work?

Starting from pre-school, kids feel comfortable around technology. What’s more, they even know some of the simple video games they played on their parents’ smartphones. It’s interesting that their attention is concentrated on the graphics and sounds, not the theme of the game. A little manipulation with an app code and – voilà – you have automated an exercise for learning the letters or numbers.

Those who go to the middle school prefer group learning even without recognizing it. Adolescence is the age of socialization meaning that you can easily use gamification for working in groups or pairs. Here come the competition, timing, and team-spirit.

By the way, cybersport is about to be included in the Olympics. Click here to read a BBC article about that! Like any other sport, it is a competitive activity demanding practice. Why not taking its best features for overcoming the boring math issues or learning chemical formulas by heart?

Needless to say, high school is a perfect time for introducing a whole new level of gamification. And it’s here already! Do you remember piles of books these kids need for preparing to ACT or SAT? Most of the high school students learn with the help of the books but never use their question sections to practice answering because of the online tests available. Fast and objective, they rate your test answers right away, emphasizing the topics you still have to study. Try using the same approach for every smaller test as well!

One more example of referring to gamification as a perfect learning methodology is designing a template for high school projects. Most of the students choose a topic and then conduct research and present it in the way they prefer. Why not encourage them to either follow a gamified report template or even create a game based on their research?

All words have been said before, all games have been played before. Gamification is your solution to generating a creative spark when it comes to educating both kids and adults. For reading more about gamification, watch this TEDx video. Our genuine interest in vivid graphics and sounds, our competitiveness and ambitions make us the perfect victims for the gamification experiments. The future is here, anybody up for trying it?
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