The challenge to keep students interested and engaged is ever present. Today it is easier to offer students, of all ages, creative and exciting ways to learn through games and other technology learning tools. Games and gaming can be used in the classroom and also at home and will help to enhance student interest and keep them engaged. Below we will explore how games can be learning tools.
The tried and tested way of learning with traditional games.
Most of us grew up playing board games like Monopoly, Snakes and Ladders or card games. These are games that bring members of the family or friends together. Playing these games we learn about healthy competition, about being part of a team and also how to play as an individual which can help, for example, if playing online slots real money South Africa. But games can do more.
Most people like to play games, no matter what their age. They have the ability to keep players interested and can be a great learning tool. You can learn a variety of skills and have fun at the same time.
For instance, while playing you are developing motor skills, learning basic math skills, learning how to be a team player, sportsmanship, problem solving skills and many more. Games that are created with particular educational goals are likely to teach more specific learning skills. At the same time, many of these games boost interest and engagement, important for academic achievement.
Technology and Games
The global pandemic together with new and better technology has changed the way we look at gaming. We have come to understand that online learning in crucial and we are now able to acquire real learning skills from the comfort of our homes.
Today more people use technology having phones, computers and iPads and software companies have developed many options and platforms so people can work and study remotely offering rich and fun content at a click. The industry adapted to the changing world and fortunately this made learning for students possible even during the pandemic.
Gaming and Education Industries
Gaming is a huge industry, worth around 120 billion dollars. Education is also a huge market. Education and gaming come together in EdTech where the two come together to offer learning apps and platforms, digital learning experiences and lots of fun. An industry that in 2019 had a value of almost $75 billion is set to increase by 2027 by another 20%. Since the beginning of the pandemic educational app downloads have increased 90%. The growth in the industry will have a huge influence on education globally. With this in mind the following questions arise:
- What is the role of gaming in the education industry? Gaming is a very effective tool for teaching difficult practical topics. Those in the educational field recognize this and support the use of it. Therefore, gaming does play an important role in the education market.
The use of gaming in education is growing rapidly. Edtech companies are now creating games using Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence.
- Using gaming as a learning tool is filling the gaps that exist in the traditional education system, namely the lack of teacher – pupil ratio. Using AI educational games provides students with an “artificial teacher presence” which enables real teachers to monitor student progress.
Attention spans of students
Adult attention spans are thought to be around 20 minutes long. Students’ attention spans are possibly shorter so the challenge for teachers is how to keep students engaged. The younger the child the shorter the attention spans. This is where games can help. Ways of including games into the curriculum are becoming more important as a way of increasing attention spans and therefore increased learning.
Games encourage students to get involved in the learning process. It is important that the principles of a game are aligned to the curriculum or accepted understanding of concepts in order that the game really useful.
Creativity and imagination in games
Games offer children a way to express themselves. It allows children to be creative, and innovative in dealing with different situations. We need individuals to develop critical and scientific ways of thinking, in order to solve the kinds of environmental problems that the world faces today. Science-based games as well as games offering a variety of solutions will aid in this endeavor.
Steam subjects and Gaming
Subjects like mathematics and science have always involved a whole range of teaching methods. With the global pandemic and the growth in technology, online, digital and virtual learning tools are becoming an necessity rather than just nice to have.
Many institutions today have changed to an online model of education, with the emphasis on video conferencing. However, it is not enough to teach mathematics and science via video conferencing as it is important that students use all their senses, visual, audio, tactile and spatial in learning these subjects. This is where gaming comes in. Students get to enhance their learning through audio, visual and kinesthetic-tactile learning.
Holistic learning and Games
In order to grow into a healthy, happy individual, holistic learning is imperative. Games include everything needed to accomplish this. “Soft skills, academic skills, survival skills, jobs skills, physical health habits, mental health and spiritual health.”
A good education tool is one that includes good instructions and demanding content.
It is important that those in education carefully evaluate the vast numbers of education games coming onto the market ensuring that they are offering students effective learning. Choosing the best high- quality games, aps and platforms will further “boost student motivation, attention, understanding and creativity.”
Gaming in education shows great potential as a learning tool. Games can promote learning in “foundational numeracy, spatial intelligence, analytical reasoning, problem solving and literacy, to name just a few. Gaming is definitely becoming part of the new educational landscape.