There is no doubt that video games and the future of learning are tied to each other.
In this current electronic environment, seemingly normal activities like making a phone call, driving a car, even cooking a meal are tied to technology.
High speed computers, 3-D video games, smart phones: all this technological equipment is here to stay!
It is a great disservice to students of any age and in any educational environment if the benefits offered by these advances in learning and communication are not viewed as tools to enhance education.
As parents and teachers, we see kids in front of those game consoles and we think they are just wasting time, especially when they could be studying! The truth is – those video games and the future of learning may just be the same thing.
Video games can put kids in a wide variety of environments. Winning the game or succeeding at the mission often requires skills such as decision making, teamwork, leadership, memory recall, and hand-eye coordination. Aren’t these the same skills kids are meant to learn in their classrooms?
Knowledge can be found in so many places. Although a child can read about and see beautiful pictures of imperial Japan or Renaissance Italy in a book or even online, imagine the learning curve when a child becomes an inhabitant of that world through gaming. It becomes necessary to understand the customs and traditions inherent in that society to survive the game. How thrilling and motivating for any child!
Traditionally, gaming is perceived as a solitary activity. It also seems that games may be targeted to a particular demographic. Games designed for classroom use need only serve to identify and communicate educational concepts at a particular grade level. Additionally, we can create past, present, and future worlds where it is necessary to work cooperatively, in both large and small groups. Then it becomes not only socially interactive, but intellectually as well.
Of course, there are lots of offensively violent and inappropriate games available to kids these days. However, it is entirely possible to design games steeped in educational principles to serve every grade level. Since video games and the future of learning are truly inseparable, it may be time to embrace the gaming world.
Is it possible that this is the point at which we recognize that video games and the future of learning cannot be separated? It seems that the age of video gaming in the classroom has arrived.
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