Games In The Classroom

Games are a wonderful way for students to learn or review learning in the classroom. Everyone loves a challenge, the fun and built in drive of a good game.

[See our list of games, here and here – in our Lesson Library. Download the PPTx version.]

Here are our top 10 reasons you should use games often in your lessons.

Number 1. Motivation. Games get students excited and engaged with the content of the lesson. This interaction drives players to demonstrate their understanding of the topic in a friendly contest where successes are memorable moments of shared triumph and celebration and where mistakes mean only that the learner is being stretched to his or her own limits. 

Number 2. Fun with a purpose. Games are fun but also have definite educational outcomes. Games celebrate your topic and reward individual and group achievement.  Games bring fun and energy into a buoyant learning zone, but with the focus on learning.

Number 3. Student Feedback. Students want and need feedback on their performance. Games give them immediate feedback on the quality of their input — their successes and their errors. With the appropriate corrective feedback, this can become an invaluable learning opportunity.

Number 4. Teacher Feedback. Games provide a practice field where learners interact with the topic, demonstrating their  knowledge and ability to apply that knowledge. By observing this real-time demonstration, the teacher can adjust the subsequent level of lecture, readings, interventions,  accordingly.

Number 5. Experience. Today’s student needs to do and to try things on her own. Games provide an environment that transforms the passive student into an active part of the learning process where she can connect her own dots and experience her own ideas. Games also remind both player and  teacher that energy in the classroom is a good thing. 

Number 6. Co-operative Learning. Games are real-time activities that bring players into teams, demonstrate the rules and roles of working together as a team, and underscore the value of team collaboration. Games give your learners a chance to know their peers as they share the same real-time  experiences, allowing for strong networking and bonding.

Number 7. Lowering the Affective Filter and Learner Anxiety. Because games are playful, the inherent challenge of the material, even new or difficult material, is less threatening.
During game play seemingly difficult questions and scenarios are “just part of the game.” And, teachers can use the window following classroom responses to build a bridge between the topic and the learner. 

Number 8. The Real World. Games allow you to present real-world information in the form of questions, scenarios, role-plays, and so forth. In this way, players learn not only the “what,” but the “why,” of the topic from a real-world perspective. Players also observe their own behavior and that of others during game play. Post game debriefings give insights into those behaviors in  thoughtful examples observed during game play. 

Number 9. Accelerated Learning. Games allow you to compress your topic and demonstrated learning into shorter periods of time, accelerating the speed of learning. The visual presentation, oral interactions, and active participation of game play appeals to all of the learning styles (visual, auditory and kinesthetic), involves both the rational and experiential mind that helps students remember what they have learned.

Number 10. Choices. Games offer the teacher so much flexibility in the delivery of content.

Games allow the teacher to:

-Vary the level of learner involvement.
-Vary the level of skill level and knowledge.
-Customize to any size of audience, even one-on-one.
-Vary the type and level of activity. 
-Vary the level of classroom control. 
-Introduce or review topics, or both.
-Vary the mix of theoretical and practical information.

So there you have it. 10 solid reasons to use games in your lessons and classroom.

How do you use games in the classroom. Let us know and add an example or two in our comments! Thanks.

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