The Pros And Cons Of Using Games In Your Child’s Education

You might think that any time your child spends playing video games might negatively impact his or her learning. However, if your child is a heavy gamer and you can get your child to play an educational game, you may be able to help your child overcome his or her difficulties with math or reading. His or her private school may have even incorporated games into the curriculum. However, you will need to understand the pros and cons of using games to help improve your child's scholastic achievements.

Incorporating Games Into A Curriculum

Games can never serve as a single source of knowledge for learning a particular skill and are best combined with traditional forms of learning and with hands-on instruction. Educational games are best used to provide a break from other forms of education. However, the real-time feedback that games provide is something lacking in other forms of education. For example, if a game requires your child to input an answer to a math problem in a game, he or she can immediately be informed on whether the answer is correct. This form of feedback is often not available otherwise without the help of a tutor.

Reinforcing Skills

The best games to help your child learn how to read more effectively are those that rely on a lot of text and that are narrative-heavy. Some games have a storyline built into them and force gamers to pay close attention to be able to successfully complete the game. Games are more-effective at reinforcing learning because the skills that students learn fit inside a context that makes sense. People have a much easier time learning when they understand the purpose of learning a particular task.

Avoiding Pitfalls

One of the challenges of using games is the tendency for some games to reinforce incorrect information. For example, there are many games that take place within a historical context that can teach your child historically inaccurate information. Therefore, you may want to avoid these games unless they have been designed specifically to be educational. In general, the best games are those that educators have had a hand in creating.

The Gamification Of Learning

Even if you do not incorporate games, you can still try to gamify your child's education by using a system of such as badges and rewards. You could divide your child's study time into levels, with more challenging material placed at higher levels. This could give your child a sense of achievement as he or she advances to each level.  

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