Gaming In Education

29th of June 2017

Video games in education have become more and more popular over the last 10-15 years.
This article is about gaming in education and the advantages and disadvantages of using it in the classroom. It also includes positive effects on gaming in education and provides examples of games that are actually used in education

Advantages 
  1. Games are a form of fun. That provides enjoyment and pleasure, an important aspect of encouraging students to learn.
  1. Games are form of play. That provides intense and passionate involvement. 
  1. Games have rules. That provides structure. 
  1. Games have goals. That provides motivation. 
  1. Games are interactive. That provides activity. 
  1. Games are adaptive. That provides flow based on user choices. 
  1. Games have outcomes and feedback. That provides learning, helps students understand the impact of their decisions and provides feedback on how to make improvements.
  1. Games have win states. That provides a sense of achievement. 
  1. Games have conflict/competition/challenge/opposition. That provides adrenaline and motivation to be the best. 
  1. Games have problem solvingThat sparks our creativity, makes students think outside the box and extends critical thinking skills.
  1. Games have interaction. That provides social groups and team building. 
  1. Games have representation and story. That provides emotional attachment to the game which often inspires students to continue working in their own time.



Disadvantages: 
  1. Games might not fit into the timetable because some students may take longer to complete tasks. 
  1. Some students may be more educated with games than the teachers, meaning they may not be receiving the support they require.
  1. Games in the classroom may be over used, can limit the learning and can become boring. 
  1. Teachers will have a much more difficult time keeping track of who has learned what.       

Positive Effects of Gaming in Education 
Problem solving – in schools gaming could be used to introduce children to being able to solve puzzles. Games like Minecraft could help students with problem solving because they can place items and use tools to be able to move that item and it gets them thinking how they can do it. 
Stress reducing – when learning, children and adults can get very stressed at things that they can't understand so with using gaming they can still learn but have fun at the same time. 
Team work – in schools some students might grow up being shy around others but with gaming involved students can be put with others to team up and complete the tasks. Students that work in teams may interact with others more confidently.



Achievements 
Some schools have a point system and if you get a certain amount of points you might get something for it. For example in primary schools you might win a small prize and in secondary schools you might win a gift card. Point systems are generally used to motivate students.
Leaderboards – in gaming sometimes you get leaderboards so if introduced into education and classes every student will want to be the best. This could also be negative if the students are at the bottom of the leaderboard they might want to give up because they know they aren't as good as everyone else. 

Examples of Educational Games
Scratch – scratch is a software that can be used to introduce children into coding. In scratch you can design a game but you have to use simple commands to make the game work properly. 

I like Scratch better than blogs or social networking sites like Facebook because we’re creating interesting games and projects that are fun to play, watch, and download. I don’t like to just talk to other people online, I like to talk about something creative and new. - 13-year-old 

Minecraft: Education Edition -  Minecraft released an educational edition to the game specifically designed for classroom use. It contains additions to the original game that make it more useful and appropriate in a school setting.


Students at the University of Hull have created molecular structures in Minecraft to help pupils learn about  chemistry 

Although there are some disadvantages to gaming in education the positives outweigh the negatives and this can clearly been seen through the rise in popularity over the last decade.


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