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gamified learning - why it works

Gamified Learning – Why it Works!

Games. Kids love them. Adults love them. They provide hours of fun and work our brains in a different way. From sports to role play to puzzles to playing cards… games are a part of life that allows us to laugh, think, strategize and practice skills all at the same time. I can’t tell you how many times my kids asked me “Mom, can you play a game with me?” when they were young. They were just happy to engage in an interaction they enjoyed but I knew they were getting way more out of it than just a score on a scoreboard… and that’s why I said “Yes” as often as I could. Games are a way to explore problems and solutions. They are a way to learn new skills. They are a way to engage in life.

In today’s world, games come in many more forms than in previous generations. With the advancement of technology, a whole new mode of gaming has emerged. Video games have taken a passive form of entertainment like TV and turned into an interactive one. This innovation opened a pandora’s box of creativity. And also an opportunity for those wanting to use games and technology to teach. Kids are becoming more and more tech-savvy and as they advance with the times, so must our approach to education.

There are many benefits to gamifying the learning process. It helps kids learn better in so many ways. Here are the 5 main advantages to gamified technology learning:

  1. Most of the learning apps and programs today offer a continual play model. This means that kids keep coming back for more learning. The benefit to continual play vs a defined scope is an increase in engagement. Repeated practice has better learning “stay power” than a “one and done” model.
  2. Gamified learning encourages kids to connect with their learning in a unique and individual way. We all learn differently. Kids are able to follow a learning path at their own pace and skill level.
  3. When a child enjoys their learning, they retain more. Never underestimate the power of play! There is a reason the ABCs were taught to us by song and teachers started doing science experiments in class. Fun learning works.
  4. Many learning apps and programs have high score goals and achievement rewards. These are important features for child motivation. When kids are incentivized to reach a particular goal by a ranking or reward system, they are more inclined to try to get there.
  5. Gamified technology offers instant feedback. When a child is working through a particular skill in a game, they are given real-time assessment. They know if they got it right, wrong or if it needs work. This allows them to self-reflect and makes corrections on their own.

Gamified learning is an approach to education that is getting more and more attention. It is being used in homes and classrooms around the world. The simple fact is, it works. We are learning new things every day about how and why we should use gamified technology to support kids’ learning objectives. It is about teaching and learning in a new way and meeting kids where they are at, instead of asking them to come to us.