When it comes to education technology, there are plenty of options to choose from (AI, interactive whiteboards and virtual reality headsets to name a few) and as gamification and game-based learning are becoming more and more popular, these approaches to the learning process are driving many edtech companies in their product development.
While this may seem like a strange concept at first glance (what does gaming have to do with learning?), there are a variety of reasons incorporating gaming into the classroom or homeschooling environment is beneficial.
Read on to learn more about this educational movement and let’s play education!
Gamification vs. game-based learning
First things first, what do people mean when they say gamification or gamifying learning versus game-based learning?
The gamification of learning is defined as using game design and gaming elements or mechanics in learning (a traditionally non-game experience) to motivate students and maximize engagement. A simple example of gamification would be a timed quiz with a leaderboard to recognize top scorers or earning badges for completing tasks.
Game-based learning (GBL) combines gameplay with learning, promoting the retention of information and application to real-world situations, such as thinking strategically or learning step-by-step processes, resulting in defined learning outcomes. An example of this could be a simulation game like SimCityEDU that teaches about environmental issues such as climate change or pollution control, driving cognitive and emotional development inside a social and cultural context.
Why gamify the classroom?
There are several student advantages to gamifying the classroom, including learning more effectively, increased motivation to learn and improved retention of information. In addition, gamification in education helps improve collaboration between teachers and students because it provides a platform where both parties can communicate with each other using a variety of methods such as text messaging or video conferencing apps like Skype or FaceTime. This is especially important for remote schools that do not have access to traditional school facilities such as a library or computer lab (i.e., “virtual” schools).
Finally, by adding elements of gameplay, such as a point system, into existing course material like textbooks or lectures gives teachers new ways to engage their students while keeping them accountable for completing assignments on time without falling behind the rest of class. In the same respect, training facilities and many businesses are finding platforms such as Kahoot or Quizlet are easy ways to get their clients and employees more involved in learning new processes, company guidelines or HR communications.
The benefits of gamification and game-based learning
Gamification and game-based learning are ways to motivate and engage students across a variety of subjects, including math, history and science. As more studies are done, these approaches to learning are proving to improve grades, test scores, as well as learning in general and can be used by students of all ages—from elementary school children all the way up to college-age adults. Additional benefits include:
- Improved motivation – Adding gaming elements or game-based exercises to a curriculum can make learning more motivating, helping students stay engaged and entertained while they learn new content.
- Increased engagement – Games are interactive, which means students are actually doing something with their hands or minds when they’re playing. This engages them in a way that traditional teaching methods don’t always do, making it easier for students to remember what they learned in class or at home.
- Learning retention – Games give students an opportunity to practice what they’ve learned in a fun way that helps them retain information better than if we were just talking about the same subject matter all day long.
- Socialization – Gaming is also good for social skills because it encourages teamwork among peers who may not know each other very well if at all before coming together on this project together through gaming techniques like sharing tips or working towards common goals as part of a team (rather than competing against one another). This kind of team spirit often carries over into real-life situations outside of school.
- Better problem-solving skills/curriculum integration – Most devices are built specifically for gaming purposes assisting in the development of critical thinking skills.
Headsets for game-based learning
Headsets are great for game-based learning because they allow students to listen to each other’s voices, the teacher’s voice, and the game’s music and sound effects. Students are able to have a more personalized gaming and learning experience, while also allowing them to play at their own pace. While gaming, headsets help students focus on their work by providing an extra tool for listening, while also helping to collaborate on tasks and share ideas in an easier manner.
Made up of the AE-75 and AE-79 USB, the AVID 70 Series is a great example of gaming headsets for every level of experience. With either a 3.5mm pin connection or USB connection with inline volume control, the user-friendly designs deliver impeccable sound, comfort and communication to create a truly immersive gaming experience. Here are a few things to look for in a gaming headset if you’re just starting out:
- A larger speaker size enhances deep bass tones to deliver clear, natural sound, perfect for game soundtracks and sound effects.
- Noise-reducing earpieces support focused listening and minimize distractions for a more immersive game experience.
- Inline volume control to easily increase, decrease or mute the volume.
- Noise-canceling boom microphone filters out background noise so you’re voice is heard clearly by your teammates.
- Deluxe headband and ear padding (that surrounds the ear) allow for hours of comfortable gameplay.
Let’s play education
Gamification and game-based learning are significant ways to motivate and engage learners in the classroom, workplace, at home or anywhere learning is taking place. The main goal of these learning approaches is to make learning fun, interactive, rewarding and memorable, with real-life lessons and benefits. There is no doubt gamification and game-based learning will continue to grow and span many industries and environments for years to come.