The benefits of games in education

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Games in education have been around for years. With the growth of technology, the use of games in education has increased significantly over recent years.

What sorts of games are used in education?

The types of games used in the classroom depend on the children’s year level, knowledge and subject choice.

Commonly used games in education include:

  • Hangman

  • Scatter-gories

  • Bingo (can be used in almost any subject)

  • Puzzles

  • Drawing games including colouring games or connect the dots

  • Quizzes

With the rise of technology teachers are reported to be using more digital games in education.

Research from New York University and the University of Michigan revealed nearly 60% of teachers are using digital games in education weekly.

Approximately 18% of teachers are using digital games in education daily.

Digital games in education include:

  • Mathletics

  • Kahoot

  • Vocabulary pictionary

Benefits of games in education

Increased student engagement and participation

Games allow schools to break lessons up into more manageable segments. This prevents children from becoming bored or disengaged.

Brain games are designed to enhance students’ ability to strengthen their attention. Games can also help students with ADHD with their focus and attention. Virtual games can also help students with dyslexia improve ‘spatial and temporal’ attention.

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Games that require memory recall such as quizzes can become a ‘classroom motivator’ for students.

Research shows that games in education also increase student active participation. Students were more engaged during periods of game play rather than during traditional classroom instruction.

Students in subjects structured with more game-based learning have a higher participation and persistence in meeting course requirements.

Increased cognitive skills

School-age children develop cognitive skills including memory, thinking, learning and problem-solving through play.

The interactive aspect of games including proposed tasks and actions allow students to develop their critical thinking skills.

What should parents be doing at home?

It is a great idea to play with your child at home too. Playing games with your child at home can help them reinforce school learning.

Playing at home can also provide the opportunity to practice skills learnt at school. For example, if you are playing Pictionary, you can ask your child to keep a tally and count how many points each player has.

Playing games at home will also help manage your child’s screen time.

Exploring STEM using games in education

Australia requires students to enter the STEM workforce in the future. Students who drop or switch out of Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths experience difficulties with the introductory courses.

Introducing games could help students wrap their head around and practice vital STEM skills.

By including games in STEM education, students can grasp vital skills and find motivation to stay in the course.

New York University research from 2013 found that maths games can enhance middle-schoolers’ (students in year 6 to 8) motivation to learn.

Students who frequently engage in games score an average higher mark than in maths and science tests.

Experiential learning

Games in the classroom forces students to think from different perspectives and experiences.

Students receive skills and knowledge that are not present in a traditional classroom by placing themselves in a variety of positions.

For example, the game ‘Multiverse’ on Mathletics allows students to learn multiplication as ‘space traders’ in a rich, animated story world.

Learning from failure using games in education

Game-based learning allows students to embrace failure as a learning opportunity.

Your child may feel discouraged from failing an assignment, test or class.

Involving games in education will give students multiple opportunities for effort and revision in classroom learning. Allowing students to experience failure multiple times allows students to develop a growth mindset.

games in education. classroom.

Using games in education has also enhanced student motivation to take risks. Risk-based learning games help your child gain long-term retention of information.

Tracking your child’s learning in the classroom

More than a third of teachers use games weekly to assess student progress and understanding of class material.

Do games in education improve my child’s grades?

Whilst research is still being conducted, many studies do show improved grades when teachers used education based games.

A study on Kahoot, a multiple-choice quiz game, revealed improved student attitudes towards learning and higher academic scores.

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