Classroom games have become a very common phenomenon for the teachers and students. The students no longer prefer to study through the traditional methods of teaching such as boards, presentations, visuals and lectures. Instead, they prefer to have interactive methods for study and that brings the need of educational games. Educational games help students to understand their subjects in a better manner as they are designed by considering the psychological needs of the students. These games are also important in keeping the attention of the students in the games. The students can understand the games a better and an interactive manner.
The students can easily learn their core subjects through these games. The games reinforce the core concepts of the subjects in an interesting way that attracts the attention of the students. The games could include use of videos, board, card and characters that attract children. Games have proved to be very effective tool of learning not only for the children of lower grades but also for higher grades students. In the lower grades, the students are not familiar with the importance of studies and find it boring. With the help of games, the teacher can grab the attention span of the students and enforce learning on the students.
With the advent of technology and other advances in the society, children are always distracted by video games, movies, mobiles and gaming devices. It has become very difficult for the teachers to make them sit and teach important subjects in a classroom. Educational games have been introduced in order to garner the attention of the students from video games and movies to serious games that would have great impact on the future of the children. With this useful concept, the students can be easily taught about an historical event or culture which is more likely to help them in developing their brain power. The students can easily learn and acquire new skills while playing games and activities. These games engage the students in their studies through interactive sessions wherein they learn goal setting, problem solving, rules, adaptation and stories. These games are also beneficial for the students in higher grades as they can learn the subject in a more familiar manner. The involvement of games eliminate the need of other unnecessary distractions that messes up the brain of children by offering a unique combination of enjoyment, creativity, passion, motivation, emotion and interaction. The games are an apt choice to enhance the learning of the students.
The report would thus, make an attempt to understand the impact the serious games on students and how it increases their focus towards studies by diverting their attention from video games.
According to Tüzün, the new generation is very different from the old generation in terms of thinking, learning and acquiring new skills. The author claimed that the present generation is very attached to the internet, mobile and other electronic gadgets (Tüzün, 2007). In other words, today’s youth always want to stay connected with the technology and it has become an essential part of their life. For them, multitasking has become a very common phenomenon. Thus, the author analyzed the changing behavioral patterns of the new generation and concluded that one must not be amazed to know that today’s children do acknowledge the traditional ways of teaching and are repulsed by it (Tüzün, 2007).
The authors Apperley & Beavis also advocated that today’s children grow up playing video games and therefore, integration of games in classroom has become an essential part of teaching (Apperley & Beavis, 2011). So far, there have been three approaches that have been used for the integration of educational games into classrooms: the educators designing and developing educational games, the students designing games and COTS games (commercial off the-shelf games) being integrated in the classrooms. The authors also argued that integration of games and activities within classroom is largely influenced by the administration and teachers of school, college and other institution. Thus, in order to introduce games in the classrooms, they must be convinced about how the integration of games would help in the overall development of children.
Another author Groves argued that in order to truly understand the impact of educational games on children, the schools must adopt more naturalistic design methodologies and observe the issue from global perspective (Groves, 2012). This would help the educators and psychologists understand the role of this medium in affecting the classrooms.
The report would try to introspect the different perspectives of different scholars by critically examining their research on this topic. The view of different scholars would then be taken to analyze and comprehend the role of educational games in classrooms.
Educational games help to build the foundation for children. The children are able to acquire necessary skills in an interesting manner. The games help the students to learn important subjects such as Mathematics and Language through fun activities. These subjects are considered as boring by the students; however, the interest of the students can be enhanced with the help of educational games. The educational games should have the right dose of fun as well as education so that the students can learn new skills and technology in an effective manner. In order to develop an educational game, the development team must be involved with the psychologists, educators and child experts to create games that not only interest the students but are also beneficiary for them in their overall development (Dwyer, 2011). The games have been proved to be very important element for young children as they instill a sense of confidence within them. The games further motivate them to continue to learn and acquire new skills for success in their school life. With the development of technology and research on child development, a number of games have been prepared for the children of different ages in order to help them learn and acquire the fundamentals of subjects. A number of educational games have been introduced on Mathematics, Social Science, English Literature, History, Geography, Arts, Science and English.
The study has revealed that the changing writing practices over the past 20 years have affected the learning style of students (Groves, 2012). This is largely due to changing technology and trends in the society. Currently, the youth is attached to their technological devices as well as they use the same devices to store or write something. The children have reduced writing which has impacted on their cognitive abilities.
The technological writing has challenged the traditional methods of writing which now requires creativity, multimodality, technological and technical complexity. The students have become technologically more advanced by learning new literacy, new technological competencies and new social skills. The students are no longer interested in traditional style of learning because they have become adapt to the technological competencies and accept same from their teachers and parents (O'Mara & Laidlaw, 2011). The students have grew up in a different environment and culture as compared to their parents and teachers and are thus, driven by the culture of interconnected utility of technology, social interaction, creativity, and connection with community. On the other side, the teachers are still in the process of understanding this shift in learning and literacy practices (Peirce, Conlan & Wade, 2008). They need to revive the culture of learning environment by addressing the issue of how a classroom session must be planned. For the last 20 years, there have been consistent attempt to revive the literacy practices in classrooms (Squire, 2011). Although the extent of teachers accustoming themselves with the changing style of teaching is another issue.
A systemic classroom is composed of faculties, curriculum and assessment and; thus, classroom life is synergistic (Tüzün, 2007). Therefore, when someone addresses the single aspect then one must consider all the three as they are interdependent on each other. Thus, it becomes difficult to study just one aspect as changing any one of the three is most likely to influence the others. The scholars have developed a design based research methodology in order to develop creative and innovative ways to teach students (Gunter, Kenny & Vick, 2008). The study also seeks to examine the effect of those methods on the students’ learning in order to deduce conclusive results. Many of the scholars have stated that a number of design-based research projects do not take into account the issues of sustainability, scalability and usability which has limited the scope of study and restricted the evolving learning styles. In order to address the challenges and evolve new effective learning styles for students, these projects must consider the issues of sustainability, scalability and usability (Habgood & Ainsworth, 2011).). This would help them to create a sustainable model of teaching with effective learning styles for the students.
With the passage of time, there has been an increase in the number of research organizations, corporations and foundations who are taking a keen interest in the development of students. The organizations have become more involved in evaluating the advantages of game based classroom learning. Some of the esteemed organizations that have taken keen interest in the subject are the MacArthur Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Educational Testing Services, the Entertainment Software Association and Pearson Inc.
Another organization that has taken some initiative in the subject is GlassLab (the Games and Learnin Assessment Lab), a subsidiary of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and MacArthur Foundation. The organization has developed game based formative assessments that have taken into account the psychological needs of the students. The organization has successfully designed and implemented these assessments. The team of GlassLab has very strategically developed these assessments by considering the needs of students as well as teachers. The students like to play video games and thus, Evidence Centered Design (ECD) has been very well applied using this concept. The focus is to develop innovative and interactive games which can pique the interest of the students towards their studies.
Several researches made by the team have demonstrated success till now. In a study conducted in 2013, it was revealed that when traditional teaching style was compared to digital games then the audience appeared more sensitive towards digital games teaching style (Steinkuehler, 2007).
Further study us conducted by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which revealed that the students who were given an environment of contemporary teaching style, showed an increased learning achievement of 12% as compared to other students who did not have any gaming activities in their classrooms. Another study that involved simulations increased the learning style of students was increased by 25% that is a significant increase.
The game based learning has become an effective tool to teach students because of the integrated technology that is able to offer a real time experience to the students. The students are thus, able to experience real life situations in terms of physical, emotional and intellectual terms (Stroud, 2017). Further, their safety and security is also ensured here because there is no real time competition involved so the students are free to utilize their potential. The approach has proved to be an efficient one because of the enhanced learning and understanding of students.
This enhanced learning by 12% and 25% may be surprising in the given context but another study revealed that the teachers already knew about the impact of game based learning on the students’ learning. The survey revealed that 55% teachers were already conducting weekly games and 78% teachers were effectively using games in their classrooms. Further, the teachers who were surveyed were not fresh, rather they had an average experience of 14.5 years of classroom teaching (Shapiro, 2014). The survey also revealed that around 30% of the teachers believed that games are equally important in the curriculum of school (Shapiro, 2014). Another important finding of the study was that teachers believed that games are even better for the students who are not able to perform in the school or are facing emotional, behavioral, and cognitive or development challenges. To simplify it further, the students who were below the average and could not cope up with the traditional teaching and learning styles are most likely to benefit from game based learning. The study concluded that around 65% of the teachers have observed that below average students become more engaged with the subject when given an environment of game based learning (Shapiro, 2014).
The report has successfully evaluated the impact of game based learning in classrooms by critically examining the work of different scholars. The scholars have pointed out that in the last twenty years, there has been a drastic change in the learning style of the students. The change is due to the evolving technologies and the growing environment of students. The student grow up in an environment which is interconnected using the technology and is socially more interactive. Thus, the students are always distracted by the video games, movies and mobiles in their classrooms. Their first priority is watching latest movie or buying latest electronic gadget over their studies. Thus, it became challenging for the teachers to teach these students using the traditional teaching style of lectures or presentations. The report also discussed the impact of various studies on the learning ability of students. The learning was enhanced by 12% among the students who were taught using games and the study also revealed that most of the teachers were already using games in their curriculum for the development of the students.
Apperley, T., & Beavis, C. (2011). Literacy into action: Digital games as action and text in the English and literacy classroom. Pedagogies: An International Journal, 6(2), 130-143.
Dwyer, L. (2011). How Gaming Is Changing the Classroom. Retrieved from: https://www.good.is/articles/how-gaming-is-changing-the-classroom
Groves, C.E. (2012). Interactive creative technologies: Changing learning practices and pedagogies in the writing classroom. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, The, 35(1), 99.
Gunter, G. A., Kenny, R. F., & Vick, E. H. (2008). Taking educational games seriously: using the RETAIN model to design endogenous fantasy into standalone educational games. Educational Technology Research and Development, 56(5-6), 511-537.
Habgood, M. J., & Ainsworth, S. E. (2011). Motivating children to learn effectively: Exploring the value of intrinsic integration in educational games. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 20(2), 169-206.
O'Mara, J., & Laidlaw, L. (2011). Living in the iworld: Two literacy researchers reflect on the changing texts and literacy practices of childhood. English Teaching, 10(4), 149.
Peirce, N., Conlan, O., & Wade, V. (2008, November). Adaptive educational games: Providing non-invasive personalised learning experiences. In Digital Games and Intelligent Toys Based Education, 2008 Second IEEE International Conference on (pp. 28-35). IEEE.
Shapiro, J. (2014). Games In The Classroom: What the Research Says. Retrieved from: https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/06/27/games-in-the-classroom-what-the-research-says/
Squire, K. (2011). Video Games and Learning: Teaching and Participatory Culture in the Digital Age. Technology, Education--Connections (the TEC Series). Teachers College Press. 1234 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027.
Steinkuehler, C. (2007). Massively multiplayer online gaming as a constellation of literacy practices. E-learning and Digital Media, 4(3), 297-318.
Stroud, J.D. (2017).The Change Game: Engaging Exercises to Teach Change. Retrieved from: https://www.isixsigma.com/training/training-materials-aids/change-game-engaging-exercises-teach-change/
Tüzün, H. (2007). Blending video games with learning: Issues and challenges with classroom implementations in the Turkish context. British Journal of Educational Technology, 38(3), 465-477.
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