There are many benefits to incorporating video games into the classroom. Among these are increased student motivation, engagement, and length of time on task. However, the use of games in the classroom might also have negative effects if you are not careful and intentional in the way the lessons are structured.
First and foremost, an effective management strategy must be in place. Without proper guidelines, procedures, and expectations, the video game environment quickly digresses into chaos and difficulty with very little educational benefit. This is similar to a traditional classroom environment. The ideal learning environment will have teachers who genuinely care for their students, guide them, and direct their behavior.
When using video games as an educational tool, it is possible that students may become too invested in the game and lose sight of the educational outcomes for the lesson. When students become distracted by the game rather than focused on the lessons intended by the teacher, their use should be re-evaluated.
Last, incorporating video games into the learning process can present some difficult challenges to what a traditional classroom looks like. Students choose to spend countless hours playing video games as a leisure activity outside of school. Even with a solid plan in place, it can be difficult to convince parents and administrators that some real, rich learning is actually going on in such an environment.
Take a few moments to reflect on the pros and cons of incorporating video games into the classroom. If it helps you, document your list on a piece of paper or using a word processor or other digital tool. Consider your list and how you might use those items to change the mind of someone who is not completely sure about the educational use of video games.
After you have completed your personal reflection, please proceed on to the next page in the module.
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