Why educators should embrace educational games
There is no doubt that children enjoy mobile games, yet most educators are reluctant to include educational games in the learning environment due to negative perceptions about gaming. This need not be the case as games have several qualities that make them a valuable tool for enhancing learning.
Games make learning interactive and engaging
Educational gaming enables students to visualize concepts in a way that is hard to achieve using conventional learning tools alone. Consider a game like Civilization, which is available on Android and Apple stores. This game enables learners to understand how human civilizations started, prospered and declined at different historical times. The game allows players to travel back in time and visualize history as it happened. It makes learning interactive and increases student engagement with the learning process.
Games make learning fun
Educational games help students internalize important concepts and vocabulary and learn how to use them in context. For instance, a crossword game on the students’ tablet enables them to apply new vocabulary in a sentence. Apart from enhancing learning, games help students develop positive memories and attitudes towards learning. Students are unlikely to forget a hilarious incident, and the concepts learnt during a game. This phenomenon is elaborated by educational theory asserting that students benefit from a variety of learning stimuli that activate different senses.
Games for every subject
Educators may not be aware of the plethora of educational games out there that can be integrated into the learning process. Instructors who explore gaming apps will be surprised by how they make learning enjoyable. Consider the mobile game Citizen Science, which is available on Android and Apple stores. The game confronts players with a polluted lake and challenges them to invent ways of cleaning the lake and prevent further pollution. Apart from teaching students about conservation, it incorporates several scientific concepts such as metrics for measuring contamination.
We would like to encourage educators and instructors to embrace and advocate games as a part of the learning environment. Educational games have the potential to make learning more exciting by allowing learners to explore and solve problems. This is not an opportunity that educators should pass up.