Learning by Playing Videogames
Within Neurodidactics, an important discipline to lay the proper groundwork for new forms of education, there are five basic ideas.
- Learning is fun.
- Learning is spontaneous, without guided instruction.
- It is most effective when the sensitive phases are respected. Children learn the skills needed for learning more easily when they are younger. Digital natives.
- It is an emotional process. Learning is maintained better in memory if it is related to a positive emotion.
- Environments rich in sensory stimuli help them learn better- especially if there is more than one sensory input.
Certain types of videogames have these rules or principles. In addition to being entertaining and fun, they encourage learning through playing.
Characteristics of Videogames
- Are active and dynamic.
- They have an objective, or goal, placed within a context that makes intrinsic learning coherent. And the effort made also has a practical sense.
- The player faces challenges and decision making that normally wouldn’t happen under other circumstances.
- Improve Perception, attention, and memory. Therefore, it is important to choose the right video game based on the child’s characteristics and considering any learning disabilities or ADHD.
- Encourage self-control. The control of special situations presented in the game in an adequate way and the possibility of repeating that decision sequence will make the user pay attention and learn to choose the most correct options. As a result, this helps them to control their impulses and take time to reflect.
- Generate positive emotions. Reaching goals reinforces their self-esteem.
- Improve self-concept. Most importantly, children with learning problems often struggle with self-concept and the possibility of facing difficulties in day to day life. The majority of videogames are designed to give correct feedback or reward the effort made in the game. And as a result, we get a reward after completing a challenge or goal.
- Have a positive influence on motivation and improve frustration tolerance. In addition to motivation, the frustration caused by videogames is also beneficial and can be used to improve persistence in achieving learning goals.
- Are collaborative. They can play with friends and share experiences.
- Can project their personality onto an avatar. Along with choosing their physical traits, children get to show their personality. The results of their games help us to assess skills like self-control or their level of motivation in the game. The avatar’s achievements are their own. They can project their desires, strengths, and weaknesses ”outside of themselves.” Therefore, they are more in control and less resistant.
- Children in hospitals, in particular, those hospitalized long term, are given ‘wings to fly’ from their rooms and live experiences with others through videogames. ”They tear down walls” and can travel from their bed. Moreover, they make decisions that would not be possible in that environment.
- Videogames have also been shown to have a positive influence on reducing pain.
Smartick is not a game, math is a serious thing! But we try to make it as fun as possible by incorporating gamification and a fun Virtual World that children can access after completing their 15-minute math sessions.