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Game On!

 
 

I’ve always enjoyed playing games – board games, card games, athletic games, you name it. Learning and exploring new games is something I proudly claim as a hobby of mine. I even have “board game fanatic” typed delightfully on my resume and refuse to have it removed. Over the past several years, there has been tremendous interest and proving more importantly, a necessity, among educators to utilize games as a learning tool. Advocates of game-based learning in K-12 settings, value these games as a teaching tool that reinforce skills that prepare students as “college and career ready.”k-november-brain-games

An article by EducationWorld lists 5 reasons game playing is a powerful instructional tool:

1. Students learn through the process of playing the game

2. Games provide a context for engaging practice – an alternative to countless workbook pages, or textbook exercises that are not always highly engaging

3. Through games, student can learn a variety of important skills – a set of skills that don’t necessarily show up in a set curriculum’s scope and sequence

4. While playing games, students develop a variety of connections with the content and can form positive memories of learning

5. Games grab students’ attention and actively engage them – an active game with lots of movement can be just want a student needs

The potential of educational games will continue to grow as computers become increasingly ubiquitous in schools, and as game developers work ever more closely with education experts. One key is to creating a positive emotional connection, which can facilitate learning. If schools and teachers can collect and accumulate meaningful evidence from students’ everyday interactions with games and other digital tools, we have the potential to create new models of students’ knowledge and skills that expand our ability to both understand and influence student learning.

Here are a few articles relating to the developing research of gaming in the classroom:

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/education_futures/2016/02/4_facts_you_should_know_about_gamifying_k-12_classrooms.html

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb10/vol67/num05/Using-Games-to-Enhance-Student-Achievement.aspx

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/small-safe-steps-introducing-games-andrew-miller

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