Games used to be seen as purely a recreational distraction, but they are now considered so much more than that. In fact, they are being used as powerful tools for childhood education.
Gamified learning is rising in popularity, which is why EdTech companies are trying to incorporate the game format into educational software for students. It is also an important educational tool in this digital age, now that 81% of teachers are more confident in integrating educational technology into their academic programs.
Most importantly, gamified learning is becoming a mainstay in educational programs because of their ability to improve learning outcomes.
Why is Gamified Learning Rising in Popularity?
Games generally get a bad rap, but there's so much they can offer. STEM teacher and education leader Trevor Macduff points out that games like Uno or Chutes and Ladders can teach essential skills that boost learning and analysis skills.
Similarly, early childhood educators are utilizing tools like building blocks and Lego to foster creativity, problem-solving skills, spatial awareness, and even language skills.
These games are tools that preschool and childcare center educators leverage so that they can interact and instruct children. As experts in human development, these educators understand how a child’s cognitive, emotional, physical, and social intelligence can develop, and how to maximize their role in learning.
Educational institutions are also promoting gamified learning. Both instructional designers and educators are transforming digital games to address critical educational issues, such as a student’s lack of engagement and motivation.
A study on IJARIIE pointed out that gamified learning reaches educational objectives since its fun elements increase students’ intrinsic motivation.
The combination of gaming elements, like avatars, leaderboards, and quests attract the attention of kids, while the game rewards provide a sense of achievement. Furthermore, gamified learning effectively boosts the knowledge retention of students. Kids are actively involved in the process and are provided immediate feedback, which reinforces their memory.
Finally, students are able to learn at their own pace by personalizing gamified learning settings. By allowing kids to achieve autonomy in their learning, gamified tools are able to boost the exam performance, satisfaction, and self-efficacy of children.
How Can You Incorporate Gamified Learning into a Child’s Education?
Gamified learning is a great educational tool because your child can reap its benefits, whether they’re at school or at home! However, your child will need your guidance so that they can efficiently navigate these different platforms.
To illustrate, a pediatric speech-language pathologist used ThinkFun’s Rush Hour game to improve the literacy and critical thinking skills of children.
She was able to develop their knowledge in descriptive language by instructing one player to use specific words in directing the placement of the pieces, while the other improves their listening abilities as they follow the directions.
You can also use tools like Kahoot! to improve the social dynamics and to reduce the anxiety of students. Instructors are decreasing students’ fear of failure by allowing them to navigate through the learning platform anonymously, claims Science Direct.
Despite being anonymous on the platform, the students were able to improve their relationships with both their teachers and their peers afterwards.
Learning can be fun, especially if your child is able to mix learning and play. Gamified learning is a crucial part of early childhood development, and can boost the engagement and motivation of your child so that their learning potential can be maximized.
Alicia Wallace discovered her love for language when she first played Scrabble as a child. This game inspired Alicia to pursue her love for communication by writing articles about lifestyle and education. Though she spends most of her time writing now, she still makes it a point to spend her free time playing various word games.
A Note From ThinkFun
At ThinkFun, we love it when learning and fun collide. It’s why we do what we do. Every game, puzzle and brainteaser we create is aimed at igniting a spark in a young mind. Still curious? Check us out on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and our website.