Educational Games--the Benefits Of Using Online Games In The Learning Process
It is not a secret that online computer games, apart from bringing fun and effectively consuming your time, can also be used for educational purposes. Over the past decades, they have become very popular with teachers, parents and, of course, kids. In fact, they have even acquired quite a stable position in the educational system, they have even penetrated into the K-12 classroom, and now help students learn digital technologies and computer while mastering their skills and knowledge of academic subjects (such as maths, languages, painting, physics, the basics of management and economics, etc.)
Online games can therefore rightfully be named the efficient means of teaching, evaluating and controlling students, to say nothing of boosting their motivation to study. Moreover, they allow the teachers, parents and pupils understand the progress of the latter within the lapse of time - seeing their performance improving, realizing the progress they are making and becoming more responsible about their studies.
So, what are the benefits of using online games in the learning process?
Playing computer games is an activity that provides the kids with an opportunity to develop their skills while having fun. Moreover, games can be used by teachers and parents for the evaluation of the kids' skills and knowledge. Of course they can hardly be called a proper and outstanding assessment tool (unless we are talking about proper educational games), still they allow to evaluate students' skills and the progress they are making in learning.
Which is more, electronic games are compact and easily accessible. Very important is, to my mind, the development of students' creative skills while playing certain kinds of games - e.g. some of the painting games require a creative approach.
Playing quality games evokes in the children the sense of responsibility for their learning and encourages them to acquire new skills, together with the development of creativity. Playing computer games is not only a skills-assessing tool, but also the way to intensify the learning process and make it more efficient and interesting. The spirit of healthy competition is also likely to be evoked in the kids - because they will certainly want to earn more scores than their peers, to complete the game faster, etc.
The online computer games can be used for developing and demonstrating certain skills and knowledge, some of which are:
- Using computer skills (required by pretty much any online game).
- The knowledge of mathematics. Nice examples of maths games are 'The Equator' (where you need to solve simple equations but non-stop and within a certain time limit, so that it virtually blows your brain!) or 'Ben 10 Mathrix' where you are answering questions on maths.
- Management skills. Some examples of such games are 'Beauty Resort' (where your task is to work your way up from a small spa to a luxury resort using the principles of time management and managing organization) and 'Hotel Management' (where you are managing a hotel).
- Creative skills. There are games, for example, that combine creative skills with knowledge of maths - e.g. 'Winnie, Tigger and Piglet Color Maths' or 'Mickey and Friends Coloring Maths Game'. They provide a great opportunity to train maths skills while coloring a picture - solving simple equations kids discover which color they should use for each detail of the picture.
All in all, we may conclude that using online computer games for learning and teaching purposes is very beneficial for a variety of reasons: accessibility, convenience, time spent - and, of course, pleasure brought to the kids.
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