Using Video Games in the Classroom: Leveling Up Education in a Technological Era
The video games industry is a multi-billion-dollar sector with billions of active participants worldwide. According to Statista, the segment had a market size of $188.7 billion in 2021, which grew to $199.74 billion in 2022. They project that the market will grow to approximately $307.19 billion in 2029 based on a CAGR of 6.3%. The US market alone is estimated at $97.67 billion, with a market penetration of 52.0%, translating to 193.70m users. The number is expected to hit 56.3% by 2027. This massive industry involves all genders, ages, and races.
While video games have been part of the American fabric for centuries, it was until a few decades ago that they were introduced into the education sector. This paved the way for creating a fun and engaging environment. The decision has paid off, with many learners admitting that using video games in the classroom has improved learning. Join us as we delve into this exciting world of edtech and discover the myriad of benefits they bring to the table.
How to Use Video Games in the Classroom to Enhance Learning
The benefits of video games in the classroom cannot be overstated. However, like other technologies, these advantages can only be enjoyed through prudent and disciplined usage. Without this, the expected positive outcomes fizzle away, giving room for negative outcomes. So, how can you enjoy the benefits while keeping the cons at bay? Here are a few suggestions:
Use games for practice
Sometimes students fail for inadequate practice and revision. Some homes do not provide children with ample opportunities or safe learning environments, making them lag in education. Such kids may not meet the demands of the K-12 curriculum, dimming their futures in the process. As a teacher, you can use video games to create challenging puzzles and engaging narratives to spark curiosity and promote a deep understanding of various subjects. Starting your learners off with fun and interactive games reduces tension, making them more interested in the main course contents.
Limit game time
You’ve heard it said that too much of anything is dangerous. The emphasis here is ANYTHING! There must be some level of control, especially when dealing with college and high school students. Opponents of using computer games in the classroom have claimed they can distract kids, preventing them from focusing on course content. While this is possible, it can be diminished or eliminated through strict timing. For example, you can let the learners play games for only 20 minutes and use the rest of the time for syllabus coverage.
You can also use third-party apps and systems to keep your students more engaged instead of over-relying on video games. For example, websites like CustomWritings, a pro essay writing service, have several resources for revision that your students can use to break bored while gaining invaluable knowledge.
Don’t let video games replace traditional induction
In some courses, teachers can use video games to cover an entire curriculum, for instance, programming and statistics. Despite their effectiveness, educators shouldn’t let them take over their roles. This isn’t just about limiting how long students play video games but controlling how central they are to the induction process.
Use games for storytelling
Is there anything more powerful than storytelling in the English classroom? We doubt there is! Storytelling can be captivating, making learning more memorable and impactful. There are many types of video games, with many based on multi-level challenges and puzzles. The best adaptations, however, are those that connect educational content to a compelling narrative. You can help your students retain information and make meaningful connections between concepts through these games. Compelling narratives can revolve around anything, including exploring ancient civilizations in history-based games or solving complex mathematical puzzles to make learning come alive.
Power-Ups and Pedagogy: Unleashing the Benefits of Using Video Games in the Classroom
It is undeniable that video games offer a unique and engaging platform that captivates students of all ages, making learning an exciting adventure. Institutions that have incorporated them into their systems enjoy several benefits. But it doesn’t end there. Instructors who teach with video games have recorded higher levels of student engagement, fewer cases of absenteeism, reduced instances of indiscipline, and increased academic performance. Below, we list some of the significant benefits of video games to students:
1. Improved cognitive skills
Many people see video games as instruments for enjoyment. While this is true, it’s not a holistic assessment. The act and process of playing video games significantly improve students’ cognitive skills, including memory, attention, and processing speed. Most games are challenging and demanding, forcing players to use their brains to solve problems. The experience and knowledge gained by solving these puzzles are widely applicable in real life and can be used to enhance classroom learning. For example, games like Mortal Combat require players to navigate through intricate environments, understand complex weapons, master expert-level battle tactics, interpret maps, and understand spatial relationships. Handling these multiple challenges simultaneously enhances spatial awareness and visual processing skills.
2. Emotional and social benefits
So, you’ve heard it said that video games can isolate you and make you antisocial? That’s just one side of the story. Some studies have linked video games to developing empathy, emotional intelligence, and social skills among players. This is true for both violent and non-violent consoles. You should not undermine the power of experiencing something positive amid persistent negative emotions. For example, failing a stage in a violent video game several times can be deflating. However, finally winning it can generate an unimaginable level of joy and pleasure, improving your emotions instantly. Still, students with no dependable social networks and those with social anxiety have sought solace in video games with many positive outcomes.
3. Improved collaboration and teamwork
Many teachers struggle with creating learning environments that are beneficial to their students because of diversity, lack of resources, inexperience, and lack of support from school boards. The school environment is not just for lecturing, essay writing, taking exams, and waiting for graduation. The interaction between learners plays an integral role in their development and growth. As such, teachers must write, create, and use activities that encourage collaboration and teamwork. Embracing video games helps since many multiplayer games require students to work together towards a common goal, fostering communication, cooperation, and problem-solving skills. Moreover, in collaborative gameplay, they learn the importance of compromise and the value of divergent perspectives.
Embrace Video Games in Education and See Students Win!
Edtech is here to stay. As educators, we can either embrace them and see our students excel or reject them and end up with dull classrooms where writing papers will be gruesome rather than enjoyable. The objective is not to cover the curriculum but to get students to study in an environment that fosters a love for learning. So, let’s embrace the power of video games in education and unlock the full potential of our students.