Third graders are rarely as gifted as the one named Cordell Steiner. This particular third grader is a proponent of game based learning in the classroom, and he makes such a powerful case that he was asked to speak at a Ted Talks convention. Some of the points that he makes are hard to ignore.
Classrooms Can Be Boring For Third Graders
It is difficult to ask third graders to sit in place and be still while at the same time trying to force knowledge upon them. They don’t want to sit still, the information that they are being presented may not seem relevant, and they are probably distracted by any number of thoughts. The solution Cordell says is to provide learning in a game based way.
Make Learning Like A Video Game
Third graders definitely love video games. They provide a visual stimulus that is not available in a lot of other forms of entertainment. Also, the competitive nature of anyone can come out when playing a video game. This is another appealing characteristic and another reason why it is believed that video games can aid in learning.
If one is solving simple math problems or correcting sentences for grammar in order to score points in a game, they may be learning something without even realizing it. The student focuses on the points that they are scoring and the game play, but hardly notices that they are practicing vital learning skills along the way. Best of all, it works! Information may even be better retained via this method than any other.
A More Engaged Class
The best result of the gamification of learning is that students often become more engaged with their learning. The blog at kqed.org explains Cordell’s own experience,
He says he used to be bored in class when his teachers had to slow down to explain concepts, but now each student plays games intended to help him or her with specific skills they’re trying to master. He even gives examples!
Cordell now loves to learn because he is free to play games and try to earn points while picking up new pieces of knowledge that will serve him well in the future.