Sunday, 28 August 2011

Videogames and Education (I part)

This is the first of three parts of the series "Videogames and Education". Have you noticed that you have a hard time trying that your students pay attention in your class, even for 15 minutes? And have you noticed that, magically, your students can stay hours and hours paying attention to a computer or a tv, playing videogames, and enjoying that time so much?

Well, this is truth that every teacher might have noticed. And this must call your attention, because there is something on the videogames that is producing that awesome effect of attracting the attention of your students for a long time. Because, even if they have to play the same level hundreds of time, they never get bored of trying and trying. Why they don't do that on the school too???

Nowadays, there must be hundreds of educational games on the market. And you might have considered in using a couple of them already. But, probably you must be afraid of them. It is a common belief that videogames don't get along with the school. Why? Because there are some teachers who still think that videogames are just a waste of time and that they don't teach anything, but violence.

Let me tell you that that belief is totally wrong. It is true that most of the games are not suitable for children, but you still have educational games.

Ok, but let me ask you something else. Do you think that your students really go running to their homes just to play "educational games"? Probably the answer is no, and it is because they actually don't like educational games. They are boring and it is like having a teacher at home. Students don't like that for sure.

But the good thing is that you don't need to use that kind of games to work with the students, and here it is where Strategy Games can help you a lot.

Last year, I had the chance to take an e-learning course called "videogames and education", mainly because I like videogames, and if I had to learn something, I would rather prefer to learn something I like. I will share with you some tips that will help you to work with videogames at the school.

Every subject has its own contents, strategies, methodologies and steps. But all subects share the same goal: developing skills on the students. I already mentioned that educational games are boring because they highlight contents only, ( I am not saying "don't use them, but if you do, probably you won't get want you want), while strategy games are really "motivating and addictive because, you need long time to finish one level, and it means you have to think and be wise to know which is the best step you must take.

Strategy games help the students to improve their skills in socializing, taking important decisions, gathering information and choosing the best, finding information on social networks, working as teams, among other high level skills that you might wish your students have.

I will be talking more about this in the second part of this series. Meanwhile check this video I found on internet, and you can comment your thoughts.

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