While playing games is seen as a great leisure activity that children and adults alike can enjoy, games can also be used for educational and learning experiences. What’s better than teaching content at school or at home through games?
Using educational games in learning has been gearing up for the last couple of years and engaging learners in a way that traditional teaching doesn’t. Classrooms are now leveraging current and emerging tools such as apps, leader-boards, badges, point systems, to make their content more dynamic.
Some games have been found to improve visual attention and cognitive functions like memory and reasoning. Others have the potential to reduce brain function problems like short-term memory loss.
There are numerous benefits beyond mastery of content which makes use of games in learning, a great option for any classroom. Let’s explore each one of them.
They Enhance Motivation and Engagement
Playing games feel more like a form of entertainment than an actual method of learning. Games include definitive objectives, rules, competition, and measurable goals, which provide an interactive experience that allows kids to learn, pay attention, and participate in a set of tasks.
While at it, they can work towards a specific goal, experience the consequences of their actions, take responsibility for their learning, which is why the experience in game-based learning is similar to real-life. In the end, children feel more motivated to win and have the best results. This engagement between participants often motivates them to keep coming back to learn even more.
Educational games require children to make quick, smart decisions. In an actual sense, they need to perform certain cognitive actions such as remembering the rules, recalling the consequences of actions, and memorizing how the game works. Children are required to utilize strategic thinking, including logic-based problem-solving skills to make the right decisions and plan what to do next.
Regardless of what you’re teaching, the aim is to get the kid to think creatively and plan their next move. Game based-learning boosts a lot of these important cognitive growth skills.
Improves Literacy Level
In this technology-driven world, it’s important to ensure children are acclimated to knowledge through game-based learning. This will help them become more independent and self-reliant.
By playing a range of content-specific games, children may be in a position to understand a new concept or idea, experiment with different options, which improves memory. In the process of playing the game, they acquire basic skills such as analytic thinking, creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, strong communication skills, and accountability.
Such kind of memorable experiences will in most cases stick with children even beyond the classroom.
Development of Critical Skills
There are countless skills that children can develop and learn through gaming such as creative teamwork, critical thinking skills, technical skills, and good sportsmanship. They may also develop basic physical skills such as hand-eye coordination.
With the help of visualized games, children can also improve their overall critical thinking. Interactive games allow them to achieve this in an integrated learning environment.
Additionally, kids can utilize games in learning to develop essential life skills such as teamwork and collaboration. These skills and knowledge acquired from using games in educations have longer retention rates compared to other learning methods.
Game-based learning allows the teacher to get instant feedback and measure whether children understand what they’re taught. Instead of quizzing them the old-fashioned way, which could take days or weeks to get results, classroom games give instant, valuable feedback on how well kids are really doing. They are also able to discover the long-term effects and outcomes of their decision-making quickly.
Educators are also able to get immediate feedback by observing how the kids engage and react. In the process of playing the game, children have the opportunity to make mistakes without any mental or physical harm. These mistakes can be discussed later in the group and possible solutions articulated. This is a good way to allow children to reflect on the actual events that happened and apply a new strategy next time.
Children and adults of all ages play games all the time for fun – why not play them in the classroom too? Games are not only engaging but also come out as a fun and worthwhile way to keep children motivated to learn more. They also gain valuable social and literacy skills, retain more of the content they learn, and are excited to attend the class next time.
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