Games are an integral part of any child’s learning process. Kids begin to understand the world through play, whether that be puzzles, memory games, or nowadays, video gaming. From the development of soft skills to thinking outside the box, the benefits of video gaming appear to be endless. With technology being such a large part of our day to day life, it seems only right that gaming should be a part of a student’s educational development.
Throughout this blog, I will explore the many benefits of gaming for school students.
First and foremost, gaming increases engagement with the task at hand. Games restructure education so that the emphasis becomes not on learning, but on playing. Students, especially those behavioural disorders, sometimes struggle with the traditional learning format.
This is, in part, because the end goal, to learn something, seems nebulous and not something students can grasp the rewards of immediately. Gaming creates a goal, a place to get to, creating a real incentive to stay focused and alert. In fact, students get so wrapped up in the game, they forget that they are learning. While traditional means of educating students works for some, it’s not for everyone. Gaming offers everyone a different way of accessing learning and education.
Gaming also improves student’s ability to relate healthily with one another. Most importantly, it encourages team playing. Whether playing on consoles, PCs or another device, a lot of video games depends on students working as a team. This means communicating through web chat, video chat or face-to-face. Students need to problem-solve together to reach common goals.
Gaming benefits for students, also include fostering and containing healthy competitiveness. Competition is an important and natural part of life, especially visible in the way young male students relate to one another. Gaming allows students to explore this in a healthy and supervised way.
Gaming also allows students to show one another different strengths. Some students are weaker or slower when learning by more traditional methods; however, when they are gaming, they may become leaders in the class. It is empowering for these students to be ahead in class, when normally they are behind.
Expands Teaching potential
Gaming expands what is possible to teach. In a classroom, teachers are limited to what is physically possible. Gaming, through simulation, allows students to build, experiment, and then start all over again. It helps students imagine what it would have been like in the trenches, marching into enemy lines. It gives students a taste of what it’s like to design and build a house, or how to fly a plane.
The possibilities of gaming help create an equal educational experience. Students from all walks of life can access and learn through simulation, subjects they perhaps couldn’t before, due to a lack of resources or access. Simulation gaming also empowers students who learn visually or through ‘doing’. Gaming offers a different way of teaching than just text-focused learning.
Gaming benefits for students can’t be discussed without looking at the myriad of skills that students develop as a result.
Soft skills are right up there. First off, gaming improves a student’s ability to problem-solve. Often with gaming adventures, you need to constantly figure out the move or action that will successfully bring you to the next stage. This helps develop strategic thinking, allowing students to come together to create a strategy to win. Gaming helps students develop broad view strategies, but also close in on specifics and detail. Learning to think independently and outside the box, is so important, especially true in today’s world, where the working world is changing at such a quick pace!
In addition, gaming helps students with their memory. Information is unconsciously retained better when it becomes part of a game. This is because students don’t know what might become handy to help win the game. There is an immediate currency to retaining information – information that outside of a game might seem lacking in context!
As discussed earlier, gaming improves students’ interpersonal skills. When gaming, you often have to communicate concisely and clearly, due to the time limitations of the game. Students can learn how to convey their point politely and clearly, in order to reach their common goal. Interpersonal skills lead seamlessly into leadership skills. In some games, leadership skills are tested. Some video games involve simulating real-world situations. This allows students to effectively build up their confidence to lead.
Whether gaming on a pc v console, this allows students to become more comfortable using interfaces and using technology. Considering technology has pretty much taken over our lives, from work to leisure to health, it should be pretty high on the list of things to help get students more comfortable with. Gaming improves computer and simulation fluency. It improves hand-eye coordination, getting students more comfortable with using a computer.
This means they are more equipped to go into adult life. By gaming at school, you help to bridge the gap of economic disparity. Some students don’t have access to computers at home, so by making gaming a part of the curriculum you ensure all students feel comfortable using them. It also helps encourage students on the technical side. Students can delve into video games that introduce them to coding and basic programming. Given the fact digital code is basically the 21st-century language, it seems pretty important to embed it into their schooling.
Which Games are Best?
Thankfully, there is a wealth of games available for students of all ages that can be used in a classroom. Some focus on building memory. Some games, like Classroom Mouse, help teach students how to do everyday things on the computer, like creating passwords and using a mouse. Other programs simulate real-world jobs, like managing the finances of a football club or simple accounting. Other educational video games improve and consolidate what is taught in the classroom, offering a different way of accessing the same information.
While not all schools employ video gaming as part of their curriculum, some schools do see how important the benefits of gaming is on the development of their students. This can be seen with many senior school admissions, viewing gaming experience as a vital skill, and even incorporating these tools into the school curriculum to teach students.
The gaming benefits for school students are literally endless! From preparing them for a working world dominated by technology, to improving the way they relate to peers, video gaming has so many advantages. Gaming offers students alternative ways to learn and different subjects to learn, ensuring that they prosper in school and beyond.
John follows everything happening in the tech industry, from the latest gadget launches to some of the big-name moves in the industry. He covers opinionated pieces and writes on some of the biggest names in the industry. John is also a freelance writer, so he shares articles on freelancing every now and then. email: [email protected]