Video Games in Education
Educational video games are sometimes referred to as ‘edutainment’ in the industry. Experts believe that these games make learning fun by using entertainment as an educational tool. These games take a specific type of learning or topic and build a game around that topic. For example, kids might learn math by playing a flying game. The hope is that the child will have fun and forget that they’re learning, but still maintain the knowledge they pick up while playing.
Children’s educational games differ from adult games of the same type because they’re typically more basic and cover fewer concepts. An adult game may teach several ideas at once, such as Democracy, which teaches adults about elections, politics, and other issues. A child’s game usually takes only one topic, such as math or reading, and focuses the teaching on that one idea.
There are different types of games available: those that are played online, those on a computer, and those on a handheld device. The Leapster company is one of the leaders in handheld games, with their first system designed to help kids learn to read. The books let the kids read along and touch the screen to hear words spoken. They now make similar systems to teach kids other subjects such as math and science. There are even video games meant for consoles like the Nintendo Wii and XBOX 360.
More and more educational video games are now appearing on the computer and Internet. These games teach basic computer skills while also offering insight on a particular topic or subject. Sim City is a good example of this because the game teaches the players basic controls on the computer, but also teaches them on how cities are planned, built, and run.
Teachers and parents are now learning the benefits available to students who use video games. At home kids can use the games to better learn and understand the ideas they’re taught in school. For example, kids who are in reading class can use reading games to ensure that they know the basic skills before they move on to the next level. Parents can also use these video games to test their knowledge, with kids using the games prior to a test or quiz.
In the classroom, these games can be used to make learning more fun. There are studies that show some kids learn by outside stimuli and these games benefit those students. Kids can use the games in addition to their coursework or instead of their coursework. For example, some kids might find a typing game a better way to learn the computer keyboard than having a teacher talk to them about it. Teachers can even reward those students with the highest score in a game with a sticker or small treat, which encourages them to learn.
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