The power of gaming in the modern technological world is truly astounding. Digital games are highly interactive and, as such, make excellent tools for teaching.
With the internet now being a ubiquitous part of every child's life from a young age, many educators have learned to embrace high-tech methods of education, such as game-based learning, educational video games, and interactive plays.
While some still argue that gaming has a negative impact on children's ability to learn, research has proven that this is not the case. If you are still contemplating the benefits and supposed harms of learning through play and are torn between whether to do or not to do, let's help put your mind at ease.
Listed below are five reasons why you should encourage your children to learn through digital games.
1. It motivates and engages young learners
This is easily the most obvious, yet also the most powerful reason to get your children to learn through digital games - motivation and engagement. Digital games are a great motivation for learning, especially since children are naturally drawn to them.
They use lighting, movement, sound, and images, which aid in multimodal learning. And when the child is unaware that they are in fact being taught and not just playing for fun, they show no aversion to it. It's a happy heart, happy brain situation.
2. Better retention rate
Educational games are often designed around utilization and memorization. A child has to remember several aspects - control keys, functionalities, characters, and narrative flow - in order to get through and complete the game. This expands their memory capacity significantly!
Games also tend to follow a pattern that demands children to apply learnings from previous levels, ensuring a better retention rate in young minds. Since children tend to go back to playing the same games they enjoy, this momentary retention rate extends to weeks and sometimes even months.
3. Helps with problem-solving and strategic thinking. Most games require children to be on their toes and think quickly! Educational video games especially require children to make fast and smart decisions while reasoning them out logically.
All this decision-making, using strategies to overcome a hurdle, anticipating consequences, and coming up with a game plan makes a huge impact on a child's brain development. And they get better at problem-solving.
4. Helps children pay attention. Perhaps surprisingly, research has revealed that games help greatly children who struggle to pay attention. Games are designed to deliver an optimal experience to users. This makes it easy to get our young learners hooked on learning.
The message "You blink, you miss" is very clear to young minds. So, they don't just skim through instructions but listen carefully, grasping a major majority of the information, thus increasing their attention span.
5. They spark creativity. An experimental study published in a renowned research paper found a link between video games and creativity. Every child is different, and when they are given the same games to play without any instructions, they are given the freedom to think on their own!
This results in children coming up with new and creative ways to complete subsequent tasks.
Combining games with education in the form of digital game-based learning is a proven positive factor in improving engagement, motivation, and overall educational achievement.
Research shows that more than 74% of teachers are already adopting this method in their teaching. With this teaching strategy exponentially growing in popularity, it could be the only way forward in the forthcoming academic years.