Why Educational Games Are Increasingly Popular?Jan 23, 2017 | 1 Votes by shilpa 9 rate Despite the bad press games in general have been getting, many educational experts around the globe has started to notice an increasing popularity of using educational games to aid children's learning. In this article, we take a deeper look into phenomenon.
According to a global education nonprofit organization, Project Tomorrow, has found that there has been an increase in the games as a means to impart education. Compared to 25 percent teachers using educational games, there has been a steady rise to 48 percent in 2015, according to a survey.
Although using games in the classroom settings have been perceived as a blessing to build up interest, for some teachers, it is not so. According to certain educators, using games in the setup of a classroom can lead to disruptions than improvement.
“Games in the classroom are sometimes trivialized,” said Paul Howard-Jones, an expert in neuroscience and education at the University of Bristol in England (1). “They’re just about making learning fun. But I think that trivializes their serious potential. We’re really missing a trick if we don’t take it seriously. Learning can feel like you’re riding a roller coaster.”
Considering the onset of the digital methods of teaching, here are some of the positive aspects of educational games in classroom.
Re-engaging Lost Learners
Despite the several controversies with educational game, games make the process of learning fun, and increases interaction. Additionally, games make the process of learning more personalized, helping in the retention of students. For example, instead of a whole class struggling with a tough topic, students can work on groups in an educational game. This will not only make the process interesting, but also the experience more personalized. Moreover, the teacher will be able to supervise the students effectively and explain the lesson in the process.
Often it happens that students tend to forget the importance of teamwork. With the educational games, which can be played in groups, the essence and the importance of team spirit can be taught easily to students. With a game, the funny yet important moments tend to stand out in a student’s memory. This helps in effective building of important skills, and also helps them to remember the lessons for a longer duration.
Retention of Skills
Digital learning allows not only students, but also teachers to enhance the skill mastery or a topic mastery. Additionally, it also increases positive vibes in the classroom environment. For example, rather than grading a test C- or D-, the teacher can ask the student(s) to repeat the game unless they learn the topic. This helps in boosting the confidence of the student, and also helps him/her to learn the topics easily.
Increased Student Information
With the results of each game in hand, the teacher has a specific set of data in his/her hands. Since the process is digitalized, the data is more accurate, and can help in understanding the shortcomings of a student. This can, in turn, be used for taking care of the issues and strengthening of specific skills, where the student is lacking. The teacher can also exchange data with the parents enabling in a better learning experience at home.
“According to a recent parent poll the equality campaign did, nine out of 10 parents said that they rely on data to understand how their child is progressing in school,” said Bernice Butler, senior associate of policy and advocacy, Data Quality Campaign. (2)
Repeated & Engaging Practice Methods
How many times would you repeat a stuff if it is boring before you put your feet down? Probably twice or thrice if you are a responsible adult, and probably once if you are not. Unfortunately, when it comes to children, it becomes increasingly tough to convince them to do mundane tasks repeatedly. However, with a proper and interesting educational game, you can make them repeat the process until they learn the lesson. Educational games are important because they provide not only repetitive practice methods, but also make the process engaging.
Contrary to the belief that only kids need games to make interesting, adults need them to. The more engaged you are the more interesting it is to you. That means you will retain the information for longer period. So, even for a responsible adult, if remembering new things is tough, educational games are the best choice to help you.
Generally, it is believed that education and creativity cannot go hand in hand. However, children, by birth are creative creatures, with vivid imagination. This is why special needs children find it tough to learn new things – because it is not creative enough for them. Educational games help in breaking this barrier of the continuous problem between creativity and education. The games not only encourage creativity in kids, but also enhance them and allow them to use their intelligence, rather than mugging things up regularly.
It is believed that education is manifestation of the skills already possessed by an individual. However, often, we adults forget the fact and try to make the process of educating young minds a chore – and that is what Is wrong with the present education system. Be it in any stream, an encouraging and intellectual educational game can teach a student more than a teacher can, but the choice lies with the educators and policy makers.