Video Games: A New Learning Tool
In an environment that supports and encourages taking intellectual risks, students can feel confident and excited about what is coming next. You can use video games to help create this kind of atmosphere.
Digital tools are the native language for children born in the 21st century. They use digital tools to communicate, to express themselves and understand the world around them. Digital native speakers also spend a lot of time on social networks and playing video games. Therefore, some teachers encounter real difficulties in engaging and motivating their students through traditional teaching methods. Traditional teaching methods just don’t always meet the needs, expectations, and priorities of today’s students any more.
Some teachers, who realized that electronic gadgets could play an important role in education, have started using games and technology to meet their students’ needs, and they have changed some existing teaching methods to better teach their students.
A radical change
Teachers are willing to create educational video games for the new generation. The focus of the games is on their instructional features, not on the technology itself.
GameMaker is a popular program that teachers use to make educational games. An example of such a video game is one where there are different player classes, such as surgeons, soldiers, firefighters, etc. Students have to work together to achieve a common goal. Players can share information in writing or orally, and learn by watching other players. Beginners can learn from their peers and improve their skills.
Games are also able to provide safe virtual realities where participants can search, view and attend virtual classes where they can communicate and collaborate, regardless of the physical and geographical barriers between students and faculty.
The Benefits of Video Games
Video games have several educational benefits. They can develop cognitive, spatial and motor skills and contribute to improving technological skills. They can be used to learn new facts, to enhance memory, as well as to teach principles and to solve complex problems. They also foster creativity and provide practical examples of concepts and rules that would otherwise be complicated to evoke in the real world. In the end, they can be immensely useful for conducting experiments that would otherwise be dangerous in real life, such as the use of potentially harmful chemical products.
Challenging the learner
Video games that are not explicitly designed for learning still require some kind of mental investment. Almost all games are based on the premise that players have to learn, memorize, explore and come up with additional information to advance through the various levels of the game. A common feature of games is that they have the elements to challenge and promote cognitive skills in students.
Gaming is on its way to becoming synonymous with learning. One of the unique benefits of video games is the ability to allow players to learn in a supportive environment where they can make mistakes and learn through play.
This type of environment is especially suitable for students who prefer to have the facts repeated several times, which would further help them to better understand certain concepts that they would otherwise experience as complicated or annoying.
Collaborating by playing games
Video games promote genuine collaboration among students and motivate players to join teams and compete against opponents. To some extent, games are similar to learning and work organizations that promote teamwork, where participants share their discoveries and knowledge and learn from each other.
A safe environment for emotions
Playing games can be soothing for students who like to express a wide range of emotions. Games provide them with a safe and controlled environment. The feelings during the game can go from happiness, empathy, anger, frustration and feelings of victory. This change of feeling causes the players to remain completely enthralled by the game. In addition, research has shown that feelings can stimulate memory.
Provided that video games can evoke different emotions, they can help players memorize facts more vividly, which encourages the cognitive process. In addition, video games can increase students’ confidence and enable them to achieve something. The learning style matches each student’s skills and provides them with the proper feedback, and thus a better chance of achieving their goals.
A new learning tool
Games will get more and more important as a learning tool. It could even be that in the distant future, no paper books are to be found in classrooms any more. Are you ready to use video games in your classes?