Educational games get children excited about learning
Educational games excite young minds
Educational games help teachers connect with students
Educational games make learning and teaching fun
Today’s children are growing up in the digital age. Screens are part of virtually every household, and kids’ attention is too often commanded by social media, video games, and streaming sites. And while these tools may be fun, they’re also highly distractive, an issue many teachers are familiar with. Keeping pupils’ attention on the lesson is becoming ever more challenging. As a result, it might take longer than usual for them to master certain concepts.
Video games, in particular, are seen as a highly addictive force. According to a 2018 Pew Research Center survey, 90% of teens play video games, whether on a computer, game console, or smartphone. But not all games are equal. Educational video games, for instance, can be a force for good as they both entertain and educate children. This technology can support teachers in their day-to-day activities and make it easier for them to bond with young generations.
What makes Gen Z and Gen Alpha children unique?
Most of today’s primary and secondary school students are members of Generation Z, born roughly between 1996 and 2010. Ever since their early age, Gen Z children had instant access to information, maps, movies, shopping, and other resources. Smartphones and laptops shaped their educational habits. And instead of libraries or cafes, learning for them happens through chatrooms, webinars, and other digital tools. But overreliance on electronics and software has downsides too. The attention span of Generation Z members, for instance, is only 8 seconds, down from the Millennials’ 12 seconds.
In the coming years, Gen Z will be succeeded by Generation Alpha, born between 2011 and 2025. These children of Millennials will be the technologically most sophisticated generation ever. They won’t know a world without wearables, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and other innovations that many people today are just getting used to. Technology won’t just be a tool for them, but rather a way of life. And this will have a major influence on their learning habits. Gen Alpha will seek personalized and interactive education delivered through various digital channels.
These factors will make Gen Z and Gen Alpha resistant to passive forms of learning, direct instructions, and memorization. And a new generation of learners will find gaming as an especially important part of their identity, and games are to be a force that will drive various other choices.
Games instill various values into children
Millions of children around the world are passionate gamers. In the US, for instance, 66% of teens ages 8 to 12 play video games for an average of 2 hours per day. What makes this type of entertainment so addictive is the use of gamification principles, such as rewards, frequent feedback, and attractive narratives. Games are addictive by design. They’re challenging enough to keep players coming back but not so hard as to make them give up. Also, they offer players an opportunity to escape their problems, try on different personalities, and socialize with their peers.
But playing games is more than interacting with pixels on the screen. It shapes children’s mentality and worldview. Games instill various beliefs and values into children, such as that there is always an answer and that nothing is impossible. Furthermore, gaming experiences show that the best way to learn is through trial and error. Mistakes are a way to grow, while healthy competition motivates everyone to collaborate and show their best skills. Gamers also tend to be autonomous and capable of succeeding on their own. They’re used to clear rules that make problem-solving possible.
Many ways in which educational games add value
Many educators have recognized that popular video games help children develop positive values. Games like Civilization, which simulate the administration of a state, are known for improving players’ managerial skills. Fortnite, one of the world’s most popular online games, even became a high school and college sport in the US. It promotes competition and collaboration between various players. And Assassin’s Creed Origins, an adventure game set in ancient Egypt, has been turned into a virtual museum that allows users to explore detailed recreation of the great Nile Valley civilization.
A love of gaming shows that children can invest a lot of energy into the activities they like. Channeling this passion into efforts with educational and pedagogical values can yield significant benefits, which is where educational games such as Vikidz are particularly important. They recreate lessons, exercises, and learning objectives into a joyful experience. Vikidz, for instance, turns math into a fun activity that engages students. The platform enables teachers to deliver excellent classroom experiences and helps them to assess knowledge, train learned concepts, and benefit from data-driven insights.
Educational games can also help children improve mathematical reasoning, language skills, psychomotor skills, concentration, and creativity. By integrating games into their day-to-day activities, schools can improve teaching methods and ensure today’s children can take on the challenges of the 21st century more effectively. And better preparing today’s learners for the needs of the future economy can add up to $11.5 trillion to global GDP by 2028.
Taking teaching methods to a new level
Video games have tremendous potential, not just for entertainment. They can make learning fun and provide children with educational content in a medium they understand and love. Gen Z and Gen Alpha are digital natives that live and breathe technology and it’s only fitting to interact with them in a way that makes them comfortable. To that end, educational games are of great value and can help educators to take their teaching methods to a whole new level.
Ncite has worked with the leading educational publishers in Latin America and helped them transform their digital content offering into fun learning adventures for students. Our experienced team of educators, game designers and interactive software developers has successfully delivered hundreds of games for students of all ages.