Five Key Reasons why Online Gaming should be a part of Education
How often have you been pried away from Candy Crush, PubG, or Minecraft by your parents?
If only parents and educators understood the fun involved in online gaming!
The truth is online gaming can also be a goldmine of learning opportunities. It is fun and a great way to kill time. But, it also develops problem-solving skills among children and improves their memory and concentration.
It isn’t just me saying. Literary scholars and game designers from all over the world proved the strong impacts of online gaming on education. Greg Toppo, an education writer, showed that gaming facilitates learning in this critically acclaimed book. Jane McGonigal, an American game designer, also proved that online gaming fosters collaboration and develops real-world skills. James Paul Gee, a literacy professor, repeatedly showed that video games facilitate learning in the K-12 classroom.
So, yes, online gaming can be educational. Let’s check out the five key reasons why gaming should be an integral part of education.
1. Provides experiential learning
The concept of experiential learning was popularized by the American philosopher John Dewey. According to his notion, we learn better when we participate in the learning process actively. Simply reading the textbooks doesn’t engage you the way playing games like Super Mario does. Does it? Experiential learning develops a greater personal connection with learning materials, encourages students to ask questions, and motivates them to learn.
And online games are the best way to facilitate experiential learning, especially in the COVID-19 era. Consider the game Minecraft, for instance. This game helps students build complex shapes, work out geometric problems and manipulate blocks. Thus, several academic institutions have included Minecraft in their mathematical curriculums. The game lets you bring the mathematical concepts come to life in the digital world. Teachers often use Minecraft to help students build skills related to critical thinking, science, and design.
Online games not only help students in the science and mathematics department but also in humanities. Games such as Carmen Sandiego and Oregon Trail enable you to explore different parts of the world and visit historical moments.
All in all, online gaming strengthens your knowledge of history, geography, science, resource management, and critical thinking. All you have to do is pick the right game for efficient learning.
2. Develops early learning skills among younger children
According to researchers, interactive and engaging video games have a positive effect on the brain development of kids. Violent games, on the other hand, affect the child’s brain development negatively.
One of the studies showed that online games help pre-schoolers get the hang of coding, math, and literacy skills. Online games with characters in them have special importance. These games let you create a bond with an in-game character, thereby improving your learning.
Games that involve physical activities and movements are known as exergames. These improve a child’s decision-making skills along with the overall functions of the brain. Schools and pre-schools use online gaming apps such as Times Table Rock Stars or Endless Alphabet to help children learn in an engaging manner.
3. Boosts your memory, concentration, and brain speed
When we are exposed to an environment that’s filled with novel stimuli, it benefits our cognition, including memory. It is possible to experience a novel environment virtually through video games. According to NIA-supported researchers, video games may be used to improve cognitive health in older adults.
The researchers conducted a study to show the impact of video games on memory performance. The study findings suggest that exposure to rich environments and novel experiences together improve cognition.
A new study has been featured in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience regarding the impact of online games on your memory. In the study, researchers trained volunteers to play Super Mario. This game was previously found to cause structural changes in the brain, thereby improving spatial memory.
The new study, however, showed that kids who played video games have an improved working memory than those who didn’t play the games. In fact, online gaming is like food to the brain. The right games improve cognition function and memory and enhance the brain’s processing speed.
Students often seek study help because they find it difficult to stay focused amidst distractions or a busy schedule. You may not need the assistance if you can use video games to improve your memory and concentration.
4. Enables students to stay in STEM
Calculus is one of the most dreaded branches of mathematics and an integral part of STEM. Most students end up dropping out of STEM because they can’t handle the complications involved in STEM. On the other hand, there is a high demand in the nation to create the STEM workforce of the future.
So, how do we make sure students stay in STEM?
The answer is in video games.
Online video games are an effective way to engage students in engineering, science, math, and technology. Here are some examples of online games helping students stay in STEM:
- Researchers brought forth an educational game known as Geckoman. It caters to middle school students and teaches the basics of nanotechnology. The game revolves around a scientist who journeys through the world to find the missing pieces of his notebook. You learn about physical forces and nanotechnology at each level. You also get to solve problems based on this knowledge to proceed to the next level.
- The University of Oklahoma, for instance, came up with a game known as the calculus game. It helps students to overcome the obstacles involved in this course and succeed eventually.
- Variant: Limits were developed at Texas A & M University. It lets you explore concepts such as pre-calculus, limits, and calculus.
Besides boosting your knowledge base in STEM subjects, online games promote efficient decision-making. Video games facilitate quick thinking and fast learning, thereby preparing you to get through the STEM course easily.
5. Makes complicated knowledge fun and engaging
Online games such as Werewolf, Minecraft, and Game of Life provide a collaborative and engaging classroom experience. The games motivate students to participate in classrooms, foster emotional and social learning and encourage students to take risks.
The March Mammal Madness, for example, is a virtual game based on the annual NCAA basketball championship. This game educates students in the United States about endangered species and biodiversity. This simple and fun game deepens your understanding of global ecosystems.
Remember the multiple-choice quiz-like game Kahoot? One of the studies shows that this game improves students’ perceptions about learning and boosts academic grades.
Students often struggle with the complications involved in learning the periodic table of elements. But, they could learn a three-dimensional matrix with 27624 values easily through the game Pokemon. The game let the students develop core skills like literacy, abstract, and sportsmanship.
Learning is complicated. And this complication often causes students to lose focus on their studies. Online gaming, on the contrary, makes learning fun. From calculus to English, there’s an online game to help students get the hang of each subject.
Online games are not a substitute for the traditional learning method. Textbooks are and will remain important in education. Online video games help you experience the textbook knowledge in three-dimension or rather in the virtual world. It is a savior for students who struggle with complex topics and subjects. Online gaming is far from rotting your brains. Instead, it helps a child develop their brains and improves their cognitive functioning. Schools and universities have adopted the use of video games in the classroom. But, we need to wait and watch when the entire world exposes students to the educational wonders of video games.
Also Read: Top 5 Mobile Games of 2019
Timothy Wilkins is a game developer at a firm in Australia. He also provides homework help at Assignmenhelp.us. Timothy loves to read in his free time.