Saturday, October 29, 2016

Video Games Help Students In Class

Oregon Trail
Strange Loop Games
What have I learned from video games? Well... like most people in my generation I learned that I was likely to die from dysentery. I also learned how to read, do basic math, and more. When I died in a game, I would just hit start and try again. Each time, getting a little better than the try before. I still remember the first time my Mario saved the Princess.

Now comes the real challenge for us gamers. Proving to the naysayers that games are important to the educational process and beneficial to students of all abilities. When students are playing games they need to use a multitude of skills that help them improve in other areas of learning as well. For example, many games use captions to give instructions instead of audio cues. Students need to read and understand those directions to successfully play the game.

Minecraft Edu
Currently, Minecraft is the most popular "not really educational" game for education. Yes, you read that correctly. Minecraft was not designed with education in mind but it has been teaching students of all ages and levels. Even language learners can benefit from playing games because they don't rely on words. The graphics and animation tell the stories. In Minecraft, students can build worlds, hunt, chop wood, and more. The graphics may look simplistic but that's part of the games charm. Students that are interested in learning advanced skills can use Minecraft to learn coding.

Simple logic puzzles such as 2048 or Sudoku can give you a motivational boost while helping to wake the brain up. Five minutes with one of these simple games can increase overall productivity. If a student is getting stressed about their assignment a quick game break might be all they need to refocus with new energy.

All kidding aside, games and simulations can be a powerful classroom tool. I don't remember who said it or where I heard it but "when kids are having fun, they don't realize they're learning." I try to always keep my classroom fun for the students even when doing the more boring topics.

No comments:

Post a Comment