There was a time, not quite long ago, when nobody would have imagined that video games would even get a mention when educational tools are being discussed. They were thought to be the “evil thing” stealing learners’ attention. In fact, there are some teachers who admit that they punished several children for playing video games in class. Times have now changed and many educational institutions are incorporating these games in their curriculum. The digital age, and some researches that indicate children learn better when different modes of teaching are used, have been great factors in determining how children retain information.
How Video Games Help in Education
If there is one thing that the global pandemic has taught educators, it is that they need to move with the times. Who would have imagined that many institutions would banish face to face learning and explore different models? Well, even as educators went to online learning, video games became an integral part of learning, as teachers tried to find ways to connect with children without necessarily being present. Developers of educational games such as MentalUp have come up with different games that can be accessed online through the guidance of an adult.
Most children who do not perform well in school always cite boredom as one of the reasons why they zone off. They tend to perform much better when other educational tools, like video games, are introduced. It is becoming more apparent that if teachers want to command the attention of their children, they need to meet them at their unique learning interests. That is why video games have a special place in the future. Learners embrace variety and are more likely to develop curiosity in learning if they are presented with different choices.
Video games are also a great way of retaining information when complemented with things like textbooks, classroom learning, group work and hands-on assignments. People across different ages are more likely to retain the information they got from a teaching aid that allowed them to be actively involved. More companies are now open to making video games for different ages, including children with learning disabilities. In short, it is becoming increasingly easier to involve many kids in the learning process through video games.
One of the issues that always comes up when the discussion on whether video games are the future of learning is the effect they have on young learners. Admittedly, younger people who are introduced to video games can easily slide into addiction if not monitored. The good news is that most reputable video game companies are now coming up with innovative mechanisms that allow effective control of the amount of time young people spend on the games. Some have automatic switch-offs and passwords that do not allow children to go past a set time. Moreover, educational tools that are used in school follow protocols whose aim to teach, so it is just the mode of teaching that changes. The content in the educational video games it to impart knowledge and give learners the much-needed break from traditional learning where a teacher drones on in class for hours on end.
It is always advisable that teachers and educators who want to use video games as an educational tool first sample out a series of the games they have in mind, so that they can objectively decide if they are appropriate.