Games for your mind

Educational games: e-learning and videogames in school education

Posted on: November 25, 2009

educational games for kids

Educational videogames

The use of educational games, e-learning and videogames in school education became one of the main objectives of many research centres around the world.

In United States Microsoft, Columbia University and New York University had started a partnership with the Games for learning institute, to conduct different researches on educational games, e-learning and videogames.
In Europe the need for an implementation of new educational tools in school education is the new scientific research’s challenge.
The aim of all these organizations is to conduct differnet researches on the use of games, e-learning and videogames as learning tools, trying to find the perfect implementation of these new digital tools  in school education.

The European Schoolnet recently completed a survey project called Games in School, developed to analyze the use of educational videogames in European schools.

E-learing school

E-learning school

The survey considers 8 countries: Austria, Denmark, France, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Spain and United Kingdom.
The idea behind the survey is simple and its result is really interesting because show how the European education system is evolving thanks to a more focused attention on life skills and concrete abilities teaching, rather than on “classic” school’s subjects learning.
Now the big question is: how e-learning and new educational games can face this challenge?

In the survey, teachers from primary and secondary schools reported that they had used educational games, such as videogames, online games, PC games, console, mobile, etc., for the following reasons:

• to increase the motivation of students
• to develop some skills (visual, social, manual, spatial, etc..)
• Consolidate the knowledge of educational content.

According to the same teachers, the adoption of electronic games had positive effects on their students. The videogames helped many students to develop an analytic and critical thinking and to be more autonomous in their study.
Videogames are also a way to personalize learning and develop team working skills.

Those kinds of games are primarily used to learn foreign languages, but also for history, geography and mathematics.

But there are also obstacles to the introduction of electronic games in schools:
• Lack of games suited to school’s subjects;
• Lack of computers in schools;
• Cost of educational videogames and e-learning material;
• Teachers and parents’ opinion of new educational games.

The studies so far already proved the importance of e-learning and educational videogames, and the importance of their implementation in schools’ programs.

Find in the video below an intervew with Paul Holdsworth of the European Commission for the Lifelong Learning Program.

If you’re looking for practical tips to choose, educational videogames and e-learning tools, in the references you can find the links to the studies quoted above.

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Digital games in schools handbook for teachers
Digital games in schools study (final report)
Digital games in schools study (syntesis report)

2 Responses to "Educational games: e-learning and videogames in school education"

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Games are changing the way children learn, helping them think differently and stimulating new ways people of all ages can use their minds.

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