Video games have been a huge source of controversy for kids, parents, and teachers since Atari reared its ugly head in the 80’s. Educators and parents have spent years telling kids that video games would fry brain cells and to spend more time with their heads in the books. Once thought to be the demise of younger generations, video games are now making their way into the mainstream as an educational tool for learners of all ages. School systems across the nation are no longer choosing to fight video games but find ways to use them as learning devices.
This week, the Charlotte Observer showed readers how teachers across the state are integrating video games into the classroom. Games like Angry Birds, Minecraft, and World of Warcraft create challenges for students and keep them engaged for longer periods of time. Teachers are taking this opportunity to integrate lessons on language arts, writing, algebra, and much more into the game.
Teachers are also admitting their love of video games and creating clubs for gamers to interact with one another before and after school. These after-school clubs give students the opportunity to expand their social skills and use these games as a way to learn some additional skills outside of the classroom. For at-risk students, it is a way to keep them in a safe environment and out of trouble after school.
School systems recognize that the use of video games continues to grow in the classroom and teachers need to be prepared for this change. Therefore, school systems are creating professional groups and training programs to train teachers on specific games and how to integrate them into the classroom. Educators are excited about this technology and intrigued by the idea that students will respond better to this different teaching technique.
What do you think of using video games in the classroom?