Ask any parent how they feel about their child playing video games, and they’ll likely say their child spends too much time playing them. In 2020, Reuters Health reported that 86% of parents felt their teen was spending too much gaming, with half of them estimating that their teen spent at least 3 hours each day gaming. Not surprisingly, many parents have reacted by limiting their child’s video game time. Yet nowadays, video games have begun to find their way into classrooms, becoming a part of how students learn STEM subjects, history, languages and more. This raises the question: are video games educational? It seems that in many ways, they are:
Today’s video games are quietly teaching students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 a huge range of skills under the guise of play. EdTech (the term for educational and technology combined into fun apps and learning platforms) is teaching children about teamwork, honing their analytic skills and preparing them to make decisions in the same way they will need to in today’s fast-paced world. Video games are also improving their literacy and math skills, hand-eye coordination and even spatial intelligence—thanks to the three-dimensional video worlds.
STEM subjects or history can be dry. They can also be challenging to grasp. But as any storyteller will tell you, presentation matters. Add colourful graphics, an engaging plot and even a bit of competition, and suddenly math, learning to read, history or learning the periodic table of elements can become engaging. No wonder so many teachers are turning to video games to introduce hard-to-understand concepts.
Today’s large classroom sizes can be a challenge. Stopping to assist a student who needs extra help often means putting learning on hold for the rest of the class. Video games can be like having an AI teacher taking over while the actual teacher gives another student individualized attention. The rest of the class can proceed at their own pace, and teachers can use that technology to monitor students’ progress.
It is said that if you aren’t failing, you aren’t trying. Games present a safe way for students to learn what it’s like to fail. They also enable students to experience the rewards that come from trying again until they succeed. They learn about patience through repetition, and that persistence can pay off in the long run.
As advances in Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality continue to shape the future of products and services, the world is becoming more virtual-based. Getting children comfortable with computers and technology from a young age will prepare them for future career prospects. Games that have multiple solutions are helping to shape the creative innovators of tomorrow.
While video games will never replace other forms of learning, they are proving to be valuable educational tools as long as they are relevant and integrated into the curriculum. Parents who wish to, can supplement classroom learning and help boost their child’s success by making relevant, quality video games available. There are many educationally-based video games to choose from, and even the organization behind the Noble Prize has some titles to suggest.
If you’re looking for another way to boost your student’s future success, ensure that you have a plan in place for higher education. Start saving for your child’s post-secondary education by opening a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). CST Savings can help you get started with a CST RESP that lets you save easily and within your budget. Who knows… that higher education may lead to your child creating the next award-winning video game!
Canadian Scholarship Trust Plan is only sold by Prospectus. Please see the Prospectus at www.cstsavings.ca for more detailed information.