Many schools have a strong focus on using traditional teaching methods in the classroom, such as written assignments and reading books. These tried-and-true approaches are indeed valuable, but an increasing number of schools are finding out just how beneficial educational games can be in making learning more enjoyable and improving children’s grades.
Many parents and teachers are already aware of how video games can spark children’s interest in a wide variety of topics, and this is something administrators can take advantage of by implementing educational games in their schools. Games like Animal Crossing have nurtured a fierce interest in marine life and insects in some children, while others will happily devote hours to looking up and learning new techniques in Minecraft and applying them to their game. It is clear that games present a valuable opportunity to make learning a lot more fun and engaging, and modern educational game offerings can be adapted to the needs of individual schools.
Top 6 Ways Online Educational Games Can Help Improve Schools
Game-based learning has been revolutionizing education, and even corporate training is getting on board with this useful approach. At the grade school level, there are several ways that educational games are helping students and teachers to meet their goals without losing interest, including those engaging in remote learning. Let’s explore six ways that online educational games can help improve schools.
Provide In-Depth Learning, Promoting Critical Thinking Skills
Educational games often reward students for making quick but smart decisions, and they require players to use logic and strategic thinking. Games can also build up fluency through repetition. Schools can find educational games that support existing lesson plans and are aligned with standards such as Common Core, GSE, TEKS, NGSS, and SOL. The best educational game platforms will offer games that have been tested by teachers and students to ensure their effectiveness.
A 2014 article published in the Journal of Learning, Media and Technology found that video games stimulate a rise in midbrain dopamine, which helps students to store and recall information.
Lessons Are Reinforced Through Quiz-Like Games
Quiz-like games have been known to be a great way to reinforce material without making students feel like they are taking a test. Many of these quizzes keep track of the questions students get wrong and repeat those concepts more often or in different ways to ensure they master all of the themes being studied. This can result in better test scores when the time comes for students to take longer and more rigorous exams.
Increased Engagement & Interest, Especially For Students Who Have Difficulty Focusing
Keeping students’ interest is a challenge for even the best of teachers. Active participation in games can give children a deeper appreciation of the curriculum and make the prospect of learning more exciting.
In a study from the College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University, teachers reported a dramatic increase in engagement among their students who learned using games. Research has shown that using educational video games can help children who struggle to focus and pay attention.
Students Are More Willing To Participate In Discussions & Collaborative Activities
Educational games have also been shown to help students work on important social skills by giving them the opportunity to learn about teamwork. Group and collaborative games can also present the opportunity for students to practice resolving conflict. Teachers often report that students who rarely participate in class open up with games, helping their fellow students with challenging game mechanics or content.
Educational Games Increase Student Confidence & Knowledge Of Material
Another point in favor of educational games is that they can offer feedback and be customized to meet each individual learner’s needs. In some cases, teachers can adjust the questions being asked of individual students to better suit their learning style. Many also offer motivational features that can inspire kids who give up quickly in traditional learning settings to keep going.
Students who get something wrong in a well-made game will immediately want to try again until they succeed, which reinforces the idea of growth through practice while ensuring they learn and retain the material. Students expect to fail and try again in a game setting, leading to the lesson that persistence and practice pays off when it comes to learning. Games are often built with carefully-leveled tasks that will help students to succeed when they face bigger challenges.
Teachers’ Enthusiasm Is Increased Due To Student Engagement & Performance
In the aforementioned Vanderbilt study, 92 percent of teachers who used educational games said they would like to continue the practice on account of its impact on their students’ engagement and performance levels. Games make it easier for teachers to differentiate instruction according to skill as many of them automatically adjust to suit the level of the player. This allows teachers to give students who are struggling more time with certain material without holding back the rest of the class.
Reach Out To Legends of Learning Today
Games are a big part of students’ lives these days. They play them on their computers, tablets and cell phones, but they rarely play them in the classroom. This means that many schools are missing out on a powerful opportunity to get students excited about learning and help them retain more information.
If you are an administrator looking for ways to improve your school and your students’ grades, reach out to Legends of Learning today to find out how their thousands of curriculum-aligned science and math games are helping make class time more effective and improving test scores for students across the country.