For decades, learning and education have been considered serious business. Rote memorization and long hours of study were both hallmarks of the proper way to educate students. A new trend is on the rise, however. Gamification engages students in a way that not only helps better educate them, but also gets students more invested in their own education. Here are three ways gamification is helping students become more invested in education.
When learning is fun, students stop looking at the clock
It is no secret that most kids will play video games for hours. In fact, most parents have difficulties setting boundaries on screen time for their kids. Gamification takes all of the same concepts and principles that keep kids engrossed in video games and applies them to learning. Rather than parents and teachers struggling to get their children to focus, pay attention and learn, they may instead have to start setting limits on their learning.
Better real-life implementation
One of the challenges of education is how to connect the rote facts, figures and knowledge they gain in school and apply them to life. Many highly educated students are still not prepared for real-world challenges no matter how many degrees they may attain. Gamification offers the opportunity to create a direct link between abstract concepts like personal finance and real-world scenarios like paying rent, bills and expenses. With the gamification of personal finance lesson plans, students are better able to grasp just how far a certain salary may carry them in the real world.
Competition creates better outcomes
While many may think that competition has no place in the classroom, the truth is, competition has always been used as a motivational tool in the classroom. Students are taught from a young age that a college degree is essential to getting a good job and a good job is essential to a happy life. They are also taught that getting into a good college is dependent on getting good grades because only a privileged few will make it into the best schools. That inherently turns education into a competition. In truth, gamification simply gives students who excel in academics the same standing among their peers that outstanding student athletes have enjoyed for decades.
Gamification not only gives students a better ability to tie learning into the real-world situations they will use that knowledge and information in, but does it in a way that is engaging and even entertaining. Rather than making fun a dirty word and something to be avoided, gamification simply takes serious learning and makes it fun.
Addy Reeds is a freelance writer from Eugene, Oregon. She discovered her passion for journalism while attending the University of Oregon. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @addyreeds1; https://www.facebook.com/addy.reeds