Video Games in the Classroom: A Success or Game Over?

Video Games in the Classroom: A Success or Game Over?

Anabel Vallejo (School Teacher, USA)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-492-5.ch017

Abstract

Mrs. Long’s integration of video games in the classroom is a work in progress. She has observed how video games are a great way to motivate and engage students. On the other hand, she has observed how video games can lead to behavior and academic problems.
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The Case

Mrs. Long is a third grade teacher. Her classroom contains five student computers, a document camera, projector, telephone, CD player and Internet access. The majority of her lessons contain some type of technology component; for example, a video, an electronic presentation, a website, or an online game.

One component of technology that has begun to integrate into her lessons is video games. For years, video games have targeted children. Children enjoy the constant challenge of the game and the sensation of victory after succeeding at a challenge. Since video games are so popular outside the classroom, Mrs. Long thinks that maybe it is time to seek the potential benefits they may offer inside the classroom. Video games are able to motivate and engage some students in a way that a teacher may never be able to accomplish. Video games are able to present information in a variety of ways that suits the need of different types of learners by using animation, graphics, sound effects, and the high level of engagement provided therein. Video games allow students to create and progress at their own pace. They provide a controlled learning environment where children can learn through making mistakes. With video games providing so many learning benefits for children, wouldn’t it be a disservice to our students to ban them from the classroom?

Brad is nine years old and in Mrs. Long’s third grade classroom. He has been retained once and maintains a C average in Mathematics class. He has a lot of potentials but his behavior gets in the way. He struggles with talking during class, controlling his anger, and following directions. If Brad does not get his way, he becomes very upset and shuts down. When he is upset, he will not do his class work or listen to anybody. Many times Mrs. Long has had to call his mother at work and have her talk to him to get him to finish his class work and get back on track. One thing that Brad loves is playing video games.

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