So Week 9 of Semester 1 approaches us which means we only have one more week until our second assignment for ICT and Pedagogy is due! Scary. Within one of my learning experiences of the unit plan, I have incorporated an online game that students can gain and apply knowledge within the one platform. However, doing so raised a very contentious question – are games appropriate in education?
Many would argue that games are becoming an unhealthy consumption of student lives and children are becoming increasingly addicted. It is obvious that this is where a large interest of theirs lies. In education, one of our main goals is to engage students in their learning so that they are willing to reach academic success. With this said, wouldn’t it be wise to incorporate games in our everyday classrooms that underlie important subject area concepts to do this?
This article by Elena Malykhina mentions the educational version of the currently popular game Minecraft, called MinecraftEdu. Other interesting points of gaming in education are raised in this article – I suggest you take a read! MinecraftEdu is just one example of how a game can be adapted to the learning environment to teach mathematical concepts such as area, perimeter and probability. It can also be used to teach foreign language, all while the students think they are just playing a game! As teachers, it is our job to ensure students aren’t getting distracted by the gaming resource by reinforcing the learning that is occurring.
I believe that as long as games are implemented authentically and purposefully in the classroom, they can draw out some extraordinary advantages to student success. What are your thoughts?