Video games and their potential for education have evolved since the days of Pac-Man and Pong. When video games first gained popularity, many believed they were a waste of valuable time. Experts called for limiting screen time, warning parents that they shouldn't allow their children to waste too much time on this "mindless" activity, but now we know that isn’t necessarily so. In fact, indications point towards video games as a positive tool in children’s growth and development, so long as they are used appropriately.
If you are considering gaming as a way to engage and teach your child, follow these guidelines courtesy of WTVNews to find video games that can boost learning and improve important skills.
Games for Young Children
Even for young school-age children, the Honor Society notes video games can be used for education. There are many games aimed at teaching basic skills such as reading and math. By allowing kids to practice and reinforce these skills in a fun and engaging way, video games are a great educational supplement.
Even when basic skills are not being directly taught by the video game, brain development is being enhanced by the playing process itself. Children must learn the rules and understand how to play within those parameters, and as a result, cognitive reasoning and memory skills improve. Gaming also develops hand-eye coordination, increases spatial intelligence, enhances multitasking skills, improves attention and strengthens concentration.
When games require children to plan, strategize and make decisions in order to advance in the game, their decision-making skills become stronger. The success or failure of each decision is not important because both outcomes are helpful in the learning process. By receiving real-time consequences for their actions, children are forced to think on their feet and reevaluate their choices as they play.
Gaming can also develop creativity. If this is your goal, it's best to choose games that allow children to create their own characters or, better yet, their own virtual world. Luckily, options abound.
Parents can look to The Lego Movie 2 Videogame to teach their children about relationships, problem solving and teamwork. Dragons: Dawn of New Riders exposes kids to puzzle solving, perseverance and camaraderie, and Paw Patrol: On a Roll is a great single player option that exercises the ability to identify strengths and weaknesses to resolve issues.
Games for Teenagers
As children get older, they continue to benefit from gaming. Simulation video games, which are particularly popular with teens, allow players to be fully immersed in an interactive world. Players learn by facing many challenges, exploring and experimenting with possible solutions, and even facing consequences when they make wrong choices.
As Psychology Today explains, multiplayer games, also popular with teens, can help with the development of social skills. By playing these games, students gain experience negotiating, cooperating, and, at times, even leading.
A couple of examples of terrific educational video games that teens enjoy are Wordscapes, which helps kids with spelling, vocabulary, and even semantics, and the Little Big Planet series, which encourages kids to exercise logical thinking, problem solving skills, spatial reasoning and creative design skills.
Video games are also a great opportunity for teenagers to continue imaginative play. Young kids are given a lot of room for being both creative and innovative, but teens often feel embarrassed to engage in this type of play. Video games, however, provide them with a safe space to exercise their imagination, think outside the box, and develop their creativity.
Equipment for Gaming
For high-end games to run smoothly, getting the right equipment is important. A gaming computer needs to have the necessary processing power, a dedicated graphics card, and a cooling system to keep it from overheating. It's also best to have a monitor that ensures fast refresh rates and improved response times. Finally, your setup needs a game controller with vibration feedback and a high-quality headset with at least a 45mm driver size.
A stable and fast internet connection is just as important as the equipment. Video game streaming requires a connection that is both reliable and fast, and fiber-optic internet can provide both. If this type of service is available where you live, it's worth the investment to ensure a smooth playing experience.
As video games continue to evolve, they are proving to be a wonderful addition to traditional education. If you are looking for a way to strengthen your child's intelligence, don't overlook gaming. With the right content, your child has a lot to gain!
Look to WTVNews for more news, information and ideas that keep you and your family learning and growing!