Here’s how to use gaming to change teaching and learning
Across the nation, teachers are recognizing that engaging and immersive educational games can motivate students to learn and excel–without students even realizing it.
Game developers are still challenged to develop entertaining games that deliver research-based, pedagogically-sound experiences for students–but when those games do succeed, administrators and teachers are able to use the real-time data being collected in the background to inform instruction.
(Next page: 8 examples of gaming in education today)
Calling game designers “happiness engineers” and experts in making difficult tasks engaging, educators and policy makers should leverage game designers’ wisdom as they try to address important challenges in today’s world.
During the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) conference in February, second-grade teacher Joli Barker discussed how she has turned her classroom into a “living video game”–and saw achievement soar as a result.
“In the world of gaming, the very elements of struggle, challenge, and failure that discourage kids in the classroom become the primary drivers of engagement and achievement,” she said.
At the 2013 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference, opening keynote speaker Jane McGonigal—a gaming researcher and author of Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World—laid out a vision for how gaming can help boost student engagement. Calling game designers “happiness engineers” and experts in making difficult tasks engaging, McGonigal said that educators and policy makers should leverage game designers’ wisdom as they address important challenges in today’s world.The number of gamers worldwide recently topped 1 billion, McGonigal said, and while skeptics might “think about games as being a waste of time, …1 billion gamers is actually … good news for parents and teachers, for learning and education.”
Gaming is an increasingly valuable tool for educators. Here’s a recap of some valuable gaming articles:
- Using games to measure student skills
- Minecraft’s potential in today’s classrooms
- How gaming is reshaping the way museums teach
- 7 ways to evaluate educational games
- Minecraft finds a home in schools
- More educators turning to educational gaming
- ISTE Keynote: Gaming has huge educational potential
- How to engage girls with gaming