Using video games to learn in the classroom and at home can be a challenge first, but it can motivate reluctant students in amazing ways. If you are a parent of children these days, you know that the character video game has on children. Girls or guys, old or young, youve probably heard that comes close, terribly so, to transition to an obsessively unhealthy territory.
If youre not superhuman, or have children straight out of a 1950s Sitcom, youve probably also stumbled across perhaps the biggest obstacle to education - sadness. Uncontrollable yawning and an ugly black pit that swallows attention spans and motivates like a zinc hole. In my obviously limited experience as a parent and school volunteer, I have found one thing and one thing consistently plugs boredom: uses video games to learn.
Yes: Use the childrens love of video games to your advantage and reject their sadness. My son does not like much when I put him down to work out with a flash card, but when you get in front of a computer or video game console, learning is the biggest in the world.
Using video games to learn takes a little practice. The first time I tried to conduct an educational video game at my sons school, classroom discipline deteriorated very quickly. Frankly, I think they knew something was up; It was an exciting undercurrent from the moment they returned from the recess. Can children smell high-grade plastic like dogs smell bacon? However, when Mrs Holmes demanded an organized group around classroom television, something broke out in line with a rugby scrum for the best spots.
In spite of this initial setback, the pupils finally ended up having learned to treat video games to learn as a different part of their education, albeit particularly funny.
The format we found worked best is to create a number of stations to share the children into small groups (definitely divide the problem makers - thick as thieves they are). Each group spends about fifteen minutes at each station. The key is to make as many of the stations as independence of the authority possible - the less time you spend to explain rules, fight fights or answer dumb questions from the stations one to three, the more time you will have for some intense teacher (or teacher) student interaction. Using video games to learn you will find, make the students very independent for the 15 minutes or so.
Perhaps the only thrill that uses video games to learn to create is also a very common among younger students: nobody wants to share. Most classrooms are limited in television and computers. I could relieve some of the load in my sons classroom by donating a nice CRT TV that was not used much in my house. If you have any rarely used televisions, its a good way to help your offspring to donate them (and any other value!). If resources are limited in your childs classroom, students must be motivated to share.
Motivation can be as simple as asking the students who wait for their trip with the console or computer to cheer their comrades when they play. Or ask each student to analyze his partner to see if there are ways that he or she can improve their points and showcase the compilation of these data in a weekly analysis. Perhaps the easiest solution is to have them bring a book or lesson to help distract them while they wait. Although you can always resort to removing privileges, I have found positive reinforcement to be stronger than negative.
Many learning games include learning-only modes that break down each students performance, a perfect tool to see which study areas each student may need special help with. When using video games to learn, you may find that some students are doing better on topics that they previously had a little trouble with; Too often it is not a students intelligence or ability to understand a concept, but the way in which the concept is explained.
Making learning fun means that the students will feel good about their education. Using video games to learn can make problem students blossom in lifelong students. Sometimes all that is required is a slight change as a learning video game to make them see the value of the education.
And as always: get involved in your childs education. The biggest teachers in the world who use video games to learn can not motivate a student whose parents do not show them the value of learning.