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How can we use online games to change education?

How can we use online games to change education?

When was the last time you were told about the drawbacks of gaming online? 

Perhaps yesterday, last week, or last year? The entire dimension of video games has held a bad reputation in our society for a long time.  

From security issues to visionary troubles, there are multiple blames held by the gaming sector. They are famous for rotting kids and distracting them from educational pursuits. They are also known to encourage violent behavior among players and impact their mental capacities negatively. 

However, an unpopular opinion surfacing these days is that games can help refine essential intellectual skills that will trigger academic achievements. Educators have started to discover the charms of digital games. The fact that a child is fully engaged in the challenge can help to restructure their mental wiring. 

Dr. Sam von Gillern, while endorsing this belief, states that if we want students to learn well, we should use games as an effective learning facilitator. Bear in mind, video gaming is a broad field, and it is growing to date. At least one person in over 60% of households is a frequent gamer.

These findings led innovative teachers across the world to incorporate game-based learning in their curriculum. It can comprise of games of all kinds. But it’s the online gaming that’s making the most noise these days. The key to making this work is to pick games that engage children but also help develop their critical skills to enhance their academic performance. And of course, this asks for a change in the conventional education system.

To enlighten you more, we have rounded up a list of ways we can use online games to change education:

For self-learning

According to the CEO of Next Education, the prime purpose of educators across all fields is to integrate the institutional experience with a learning experience at home. 

Today, we have plenty of zero-cost video games in the market that help students to refine their abilities. On the sideways, you can also find paid games crafted to teach and upgrade special skills. These are costly, but their benefits outweigh the costs.

Educational games are also proving helpful for developing foundation math and science skills. Parents who face trouble teaching their toddlers, can seek assistance from these games, to catalyze concept development among children. Games like Drawing Numbers and Drawing Letters by Unlimited Gamez Mo are an excellent example of such games.

A few other fields using games for self-learning are military, healthcare, and aviation. Exposure of participants towards online games presents a valuable opportunity to make learning more relevant. 

For special learning needs

Games are proving instrumental in supporting education for people with disabilities. These people often have social adjustment problems. Online games help them connect with others on a virtual note. They learn to develop socially appropriate behavior and build positive peer relationships. 

Also, online games make it possible to expose such people to the same challenges repeatedly. This will strengthen their skills.

You can find helpful games on websites like AdaptedMind. Established by Stanford graduates, this site features games that adapt to special children’s needs. At present, over 150 000 teachers across the globe trust this website.

For improving critical thinking skills

Online games provide an opportunity to clear confusing concepts. For instance, history. Teachers may have problems explaining movements and mindset of the past. Online games make this simple. Players can virtually travel anywhere and anytime on the Earth. This way, they can learn their academic history in a much vivid way.

Students who have better critical thinking skills grow into life-long learners, active citizens, and productive employees. We have multiple games to develop the essential capacities of thinking of the player. Take Alternative Reality Games, for instance. Paul Darvasi states that ARGs compel students to exercise critical thinking skills, creative problem-solving, and resilience.

Such games practically transfer the players in another place or culture. Hence, teachers can exploit this aspect of gaming and utilize appropriate games to drill the concepts.

For customized learning

Teachers and schools do not have sufficient resources to provide all students with an individual learning plan. But video games have that ability. Tailoring the experience of players based on their performance and potential has become a reality with online gaming. 

If the student can solve the problem correctly, the game can adjust to bring up a harder challenge. And in case they cannot get through the level, the game will present the same concept but in a different context. According to Jan Plass, the NYU Professor of digital media and learning sciences, these games keep the student in the loop of their own uniquely challenging and engaging zone for learning.

For building new technical skills

 In specific scenarios, academic learning does not do justice to concept development. The curricula may include all possible learning clauses, but there is no practical experience. Game-based learning helps out in these circumstances. From a broader perspective, digital games refine reasoning, perception, memory, spatial-thinking, and problem-solving skills. All of these come in quite handy for technical careers.

Consider the example of Angry Birds by Rovio. It is a wildly popular game that is teaching children the basic principles of coding.

For building collective potential

Science has been continually proving how human beings can function better in a network. Traditional gaming deprives us of this luxury. They are usually single-player games. Prolonged lack of social interaction makes the player socially inactive. Online games, on the other hand, foster interaction, engagement, and collaboration of the students.

Recent research shows that 70% of Americans play video games every day. In many of these games, players work together as a team to achieve the target. It hones their interpersonal skills. As a result, they have high self-esteem and good peer relationships. These social media skills enable them to identify their collective potential and work towards a common goal with much vigor.

Final Thoughts

As long as educators tend to adopt a broader approach and focus on what keeps the students engaged, technology can help to teach critical educational concepts. It offers children an exciting alternative to monotonous learning. 

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