What Happens When We Bring Video Games into the Classroom?
What happens when we bring video games into the classroom? Play is a powerful method of learning where new skills can be taught. This week I decided to explore academic journals that investigated using video games and play within the classroom to further my inquiry for my Genius Hour. What I found was, using video games in the classroom can result in increased motivation among students. Squire (2005) notes that video games create intrinsic motivation through fantasy, control, challenge, curiosity, and competition. Incorporating video games in the classroom can also increase students' desires to develop new skills and participate in new roles. Not only do video games increase motivation, but they also invite communication and collaboration within the classroom, friendly competition, and the opportunity for students to teach one another and learn from each other. Video games also invite students to express their creativity and learn in a way that best fits their learning style. Open-ended games with multiple solutions and play options (sometimes called sandbox games) are especially conductive to self-expression. These types of games, like Sim City and Roller Coaster Tycoon, are great because multiple trajectories and experiences can lead to new ways of learning. Each students can experience the game differently and therefore tailor the game to coincide with their learning style. Being able to customize these types of games can also highlight students' personalities and interests.
These are just a few things that can occur through incorporating video games in the classroom. It is important to note that video games should be viewed as a tool to help teach curricular content and to supplement textbook material. Using both traditional and new, innovative ways of teaching can be beneficial to support a wide range of learners in the classroom!