The Science Behind Game-Based Learning
Educational games are nothing new. Since computer games were invented, kids have learned basic skills like numbers, letters, typing, and math by playing games instead of sitting down and studying a textbook.
At The Teacher’s Academy, we show educators how to integrate this concept, game-based learning, into the classroom as part of our professional development units for teachers because it helps students learn more naturally. In this blog, we’ll discuss a few reasons why Game-Based Learning works.
It Makes Learning More Fun
This is certainly no surprise, but what does combining learning with a fun challenge do for students?
Psychologically, many kids are resistant to learning because it feels like work. When you’re closed off to the idea of something, it makes it more difficult to absorb information.
Game-based learning makes learning feel more like play, and as such, students immerse themselves in it more easily. Engaging in learning activities with a more open mind means that the lessons you teach in this setting will likely be received and retained better.
It Builds Practical Skills Naturally
So, if kids won’t respond as well to direct attempts to develop certain skills because it feels like work, then they won’t get all the benefits out of learning. Even if they learn some of what you’re trying to teach them, there are peripheral skills that games-based learning can unlock in addition to the content of the lesson.
For example, many games are based around the larger idea of problem-solving. Others engage a player’s memory, decision-making, critical thought, and simulation fluency. These are all skills that are difficult to teach in the classroom but can be unlocked when you integrate learning with games.
It Accounts for Different Types of Learners
If you teach a lesson using the standard methods — a lecture, maybe an in-class worksheet, and a few days of homework — some percentage of the class will get it. You move onto the next lesson, and you do it again.
But what about the percentage of the classroom that doesn’t learn as easily this way? Many students are hands-on, practical learners. Integrating lessons into activities that allow students to interact with the content in a different way may be what they need to actually retain the information being presented.
It’s important to engage a group of students in a variety of different ways because it increases the chances that each student will find a way of learning that works for them.
Vary Your Approach to Get Results
Integrating games-based learning activities into your lesson plans can help you offer a varied approach to helping your students learn and develop important skills.
At The Teacher’s Workshop, our professional development workshops for teachers in NC, PA, GA, and other states can help you bring new skills into the classroom and add value in innovative ways.