Remote learning is a huge challenge for teachers, kids, and parents. This is one of the reasons we made the remote learning section free to preview on our new teaching course. Fortunately, we can use TV, mobiles, and computer screens to mobilize children and make them learn better. I am always looking for alternative new ideas, and in this guest post Joshua Sherman shares five ideas you will enjoy.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many students have been sent home from schools and universities that have temporarily adopted remote learning. With this increase in online education, experts have begun to ask whether online gaming could be used to educate students.
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy, but could gaming more actually make us smarter? Whether you love a first-person shooter, a complex strategy game, or online gaming slots like Fire Joker, it’s clear that online games are a growing market in 2020. Many young people in Western society have already engaged in regular online gameplay. With the world adapting to the pandemic, early-stage and higher education have largely moved online. This has left experts and educators wondering if online gaming can be combined with learning in an educational setting. Our article looks at several gaming studies to see how computer games could help students learn!
5 Ways That Online Gaming Supports Learning
1. Engages Imagination
One of the major strengths of online gaming for education is that it opens up an imaginative world so that students can become emotionally and creatively involved. A 1981 study by T. W. Malone found that students could become more engaged in a learning-based game if it had a whimsical or fantasy setting. As interest is a key aspect of learning (people are drastically more likely to acquire the knowledge they are interested in), this seems to be a plus for online gaming for remote learning. By capturing students’ imaginations with characters, worldbuilding, and narrative prompts, games allow for learning to happen incidentally and make them more likely to remember these things.
2. Promotes Curiosity and Focus
Willingness to learn and open-mindedness are crucial skills that educators aim to instill in their students. Once genuine curiosity is sparked, it is possible for a student to enjoy learning for its own sake. This curiosity is prompted by games in which a variety of problem-solving or exploratory options are available. Children who are motivated to learn also tend to be more focused and less inclined to leave a task half-finished. Online gaming software that taps into student’s natural curiosity could be an excellent tool to promote organic and self-led learning when the COVID pandemic limits classroom time.
3. Supports Learning Progression
The role of imagination in online gaming also helps students to build upon pre-existing skills. Once they are engaged in the game’s content or story, they will be highly motivated to continue throughout the levels, building skills as they go. This encourages them to practice the skills they have already begun to master and consistently add to their knowledge and meet new challenges. Being rewarded each time they overcome a challenge, by unlocking a new level or receiving a new tool, also improves motivation for future learning.
4. Builds Communication Skills
The online gaming industry is based on collaboration, and many online games require teamwork and cooperation to complete. By participating in team activities or online gaming tournaments with other players, students increase their communication skills. Students are often forced to talk through problems or obstacles with their teammates, and their success relies on communication and compromise – both important skills for success later in life. This is particularly important when schools are socially distanced, and students are separated from their classmates. Interacting via an online game can help them develop their social skills even when they can’t physically be together.
5. Boosts Resilience and Problem-Solving Skills
Games have long been criticized in the media because of the potential for online gaming addiction. However, a study in 2013 by Adachi & Willoughby found that strategy games could help students perform better academically. Online gaming statistics show that students who played strategy games more frequently did better in subjects like arithmetic than those who learned math in a traditional way. This is because strategic gameplay boosts problem-solving and logic skills. Gaming online is also great for developing students’ resilience. Most titles can be replayed until a puzzle is solved. This shows that they can complete tasks and do not have to give up just because they don’t understand something immediately.
Overall, there are clearly many ways in which online gaming and education could overlap. From improving logic skills to increasing desire to learn, the gaming industry certainly has something to teach the educational world. With the introduction of distanced learning in many parts of the world, there’s no better time to find out how this could work!
Are you a parent or educator? Do your children or students frequently play games? Does this affect their learning? Does it have a positive or negative effect on their concentration? Share your experience in the comments!
Joshua Sherman is one of the most widely known writers that specialize in technology. He has written many other informative articles, he mostly writes about technology. Apart from being an excellent writer, he loves traveling, playing games, watching TV and meeting new people from anywhere in the world.