These days, it’s no secret that students are becoming more and more engrossed in gaming. From smartphone apps to popular computer and console games like Minecraft, gaming is becoming a big part of many young learners’ lives. As a result, many educators have begun exploring ways to incorporate game-based learning into their classrooms. In fact, one recent study found that about 75% of educators implement some form of digital gaming into their classroom lessons. If this is something you’re considering incorporating into your own classroom, there are some important guidelines and tips you’ll want to keep in mind along the way.
Take an Active Role
You can do all the research in the world on what games are the best for your classroom, but what you really need to do is to take an active role and play some of these recommended games for yourself. Not only will this make it easier for you to introduce new games to your students and help them troubleshoot issues as they arise, but actually sitting down to experience some of these games for yourself will help you make a better judgment call as it which will work in your classroom (and how).
Use Them as a Supplement
One of the challenging things about implementing game-based learning in the classroom is that as soon as you make it a “requirement” for your students to play video games, it’s no longer fun. Therefore, it’s generally best to incorporate game-based learning as a supplement to your existing lessons. After all, each student has his or her own unique learning style. What may work for helping one student understand a concept may not necessarily work for another student. So while gaming may be a great method for some of your students, it may not be best for all of them—and that’s okay.
Get Creative With It!
On the other hand, the beauty of game-based learning in a classroom setting is that the possibilities are endless. No matter what you’re trying to teach your students, there’s a good chance you can find a game that will relate. Minecraft is an excellent example of a game many educators are incorporating into their lesson plans. Consider, for instance, allowing students to create a particular city or region they’re studying in geography in Minecraft. You may even consider having each student present their “worlds” to the class. This is a great way to make things both educational and fun for everybody involved.
There’s a lot to keep in mind when you’re looking to incorporate game-based learning into your classroom. When done correctly, this style of teaching can have a hugely positive effect on your students. Plus, there are plenty of great resources out there for educators who are just starting out with this style of learning, so be sure to do your research!