Why: Teachers are seeking ways to get excited about learning and engage students. Are online games a good way to increase student involvement in a classroom?
Purpose: Learning about different games modules that are available online and starting a dialogue of effective games in the classroom
Next steps: Finding games that are appropriate to your subject matter. Share what you find with us and your thoughts on games in the classroom!
One aspect of education that is getting a lot of traction and excitement, yet is still met with some concern, is the idea that games can provide avenues of learning. Children have a strong desire to play and not sit in a classroom held captive to learning how to fill in bubbles. Yet our current structure of education employs a lot of passive sitting.
I can understand the skepticism of games can be learning, when I look at the huge market of games that engender lethargy and captivity to television or computer screens. And many educational games in the past are not as exciting, but I have noticed a very positive trend in making learning for children a more interactive and engaging process. Such websites include iCivics, BrainPop and Mission-US.
Interaction with material does build lasting impressions. It is hard to remember the lectures I received on sciences in school, but when we got to play genetic games using dice to decide what our potential children would look like, it is easier to remember genetic probabilities. This of course is anecdotal evidence, and not much research has been done at the middle and high school levels to engage children in more games to help learning.
Are you a teacher who uses games in your classroom, no matter what grade level? What games do you use in your classrooms? Have they been helpful in building understanding in the students?