Electronic leisure, one more subject in the classroom
Experts highlight the qualities of video games to teach in primary and secondary
n 2018, the Ministry of Education of the Canary Islands proposed the introduction of video games and eSports (electronic sports) in its teaching. A proposal that allowed schools to teach up to two hours a week on this subject.
The last regional elections paralyzed the project, which had sessions of 45 minutes of physical activity together with workshops on different aspects of video games and eSports. Finally, students could enjoy three games: Clash Royale, League of Legends and FIFA.
In Scotland, the use of video games in classrooms is one more tool, even in early childhood education. The Consolation, a project financed by the Government, encourages their school use so that children can develop social awareness, and highlight civic and moral values that they will have to do during their daily lives.
One of the games most enjoyed by minors is Minecraft. A success that has caused developers and programmers from the USA and Finland to join their knowledge to create the educational version: MinecraftEdu. In it, the teacher has control of the virtual environment, and the players (students) have to solve instructional problems; some can be resolved individually, and others in a group.
Minecraft is also the protagonist in Spanish classrooms. In elementary classes, the teacher Lara Romero already carried this video game for her sixth-grade students. As he explains in his blog and on the YouTube channel, the idea is to reflect on the city, the design and its needs.
Romero took video games to his Alameda de Osuna school in 2016, but Quest to Learn is the first public school based on the search for new learning through video games. Created in 2009 in New York, it focuses its teaching methodologies through ‘gamification’ to develop creative thinking.
In this American project, the classrooms become a discovery community where students learn by overcoming challenges and levels of knowledge, which motivate the adolescent to do more research to overcome obstacles and face new challenges while playing.
Ad hoc games
Minecraft is not the only title with an educational version. Discover Baylon takes its players to ancient Mesopotamia (Iraq), where developers pose a series of mysteries that students will have to solve while seeing what Mesopotamian culture and society was like.
On the other hand, the SEK school and the MAD Lions club have signed a collaboration agreement between education and eSports, so that students grow as people working on critical values while amplifying their cognitive skills. In addition to promoting values such as effort, sportsmanship and teamwork, its promoters seek to “prevent possible misuses such as sedentary lifestyle, frustration or excessive playing time”.