Integrating video games in a classroom can seem to be completely crazy, useless and even distracting for most people, but few knows that those devices can represent great educational tools, interesting and interactive ways to have students to practice and can make them move and motivate them as well.
Let’s take a look at how those controversial devices or tools can be used in a classroom context. Video games can be used to teach some subjects or give new material to the students. These days, on the market, the number of educational video games has almost reached uncountable summits. You can find games about maths, French, English, sciences, geography, history and so forth. Of course, video games are more individual and can hardly be used by teachers to give new information to the students, but is can surely be used to introduce new material, to have students explore the subject themselves before teaching them directly the material. Video games can also be used to increase the students’ ability to work together and share. Actually according edudemic, “video games play a critical role in bolstering a child’s ability to socialize, learn, and grow”. In other words, video games can help more timid students to speak to others and share their knowledge in order to achieve a goal, finish the game or get through a level.
Another good use of video games in classrooms is the possibility to make students move and exercise in a school context. With all the devices related to video game consoles such as the PlayStation 3 Move, the Xbox Kinect and the Wii Fit, teacher can kill two birds with one stone by having their students moving while learning, or at least practicing, new theories. By making students move, teacher can have a better classroom management and it can also help the kinetic students to stay concentrated during a bigger amount of time.
A different advantage of using video games in classroom is the idea of reaching the students’ interests. Everybody knows it, 21st Century kids all, or almost all, have video games at home and enjoy playing on their consoles. By giving the students the right to play video games at school can reduce their impression of learning and it can help them stay motivated while doing their task.
One other interesting use of video games in educational contexts is, like mentioned on teach thought, helping students to know when to use what they have previously learned. For instance, because video games are unpredictable the first time you play, students have to choose which elements of their general knowledge to use and at what moment, which can help them do the same in their everyday life.
Moreover, like wonderfully stated on helium, teachers could also learn a great deal on how to teach by studying video games learning models, which could help them improve their teaching skills and build more interesting lesson plans.
Those are, in my opinion, the best ways to introduce video games in educational contexts. I know that for some of you, video games are still things to keep as far as classrooms as possible and it’s easy to understand why you think that. Video games can distract the kids, it can complicate the classroom dynamics because some students might always want to use those devices which could create problems when comes the time to give lecture classes. Video games could also create some altercations between students.
But to you people, I answer this! Video games are already more than present in children’s life, so why not use something they already know, master and love to educate and teach them? No truly good reason comes to my mind!