An undeniable fact is that children often tend to enjoy games more than they do learning in the classroom. If there was a way to bring game elements into their learning environments, it could potentially be very beneficial. After all, they would be having fun all the while they are still learning. Gamification provides a means of making learning more fun and engaging.
Possible benefits of gamification in education.
· Improved attention span – The likelihood of children getting distracted by other aspects of their environment while they are in class is quite high. It seems far more interesting to look at the lizard walking on the wall than to listen to a boring lecture. With gamification, you remove the boring aspect, and as a result, students pay attention to the day’s teaching. Even the ordinarily disruptive individuals will be less disruptive as their focus is on the lesson.
· Better thought processes – Usual learning involves very little creativity. With games however the children will learn to make their own decisions and also to use logic to come up with answers. This way they develop the skills to think for themselves instead of always cramming for tests.
· Positive attitude towards learning – At some point in a child’s life learning stops being interesting. They would rather do anything else than go to school. However, since they have to and it is part of their routine, they do it anyway. This dislike for the classroom makes it impossible for them to get good grades or to learn anything meaningful. Gamification can help correct that as it is fun. You will see children looking forward to going to school and learning something new. The result is children learn more in a short period, and they also achieve better grades.
Practical applications of gamification in education.
Educational video games – Computer games especially in the learning of both math and languages have been attributed to students achieving mastery in record amounts of time. It might even result in a reduction of the amount of time students need to spend in class.
Giving students badges according to the level they are at – Similar to how a game will grade you as a newbie, regular, hardened or veteran player. Whenever a student reaches a point of ‘mastery’ in a specific area, you can give them a badge or some other form of visual representation to indicate that.
Make everything a competition – Children are remarkably competitive. If you were to make every lesson a game, then you would see most of them try harder in each task.
Create puzzles – Use puzzles that will require the children to use both their creative minds and what they have learned previously in the process of solving them. This way you build their creative capacities.
There are many more ways to introduce games in learning and as mentioned the benefits are numerous. With a little creativity, you can introduce one of those in your classroom and watch as learning becomes something that each child enjoys. With the goal being to imbue children with knowledge that will be of use to them throughout their lives you can’t go wrong.
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