It's no secret that the world of education is constantly evolving. From new teaching techniques to new technology, educators have more to choose from than ever before when it comes to educating their students—and one of the most exciting recent trends in education has been eSports.
eSports and other game-based educational curricula are a hot new trend in education, recently highlighted at the FETC and TCEA conferences. On both occasions, talented speakers offered practical advice for incorporating games into classrooms, as well as tools for creating a fun environment that fosters learning.
One of the most powerful messages from both conferences was the importance of incorporating games into classroom instruction in an age-appropriate way. Even if a game or an activity has a fantastic educational outcome, it won't be helpful for your classroom unless it's appropriate for your students.
For example: if you're teaching kindergarten, try gaming apps that focus on letter recognition and letter sounds; if you're teaching high school math, try a game that helps students visualize concepts like slope or data analysis.
What is Gamification and Game-based Learning?
In a world of technology, it can be hard to compete with the bright lights and attention of video games. But what if there was a way to harness the power of gaming for our students' education with headphones and headsets? Well, a way exists, and it makes learning fun for everyone!
We are talking, of course, about eSports and other gaming curricula built on a simple premise: kids love competitive video gaming, so it's perfect for interest-based learning.
Curriculum development and advanced software systems are combined and then used to put your students in charge of their own academic experience while still meeting the educational goals set by the teacher, as well.
Implementing Game-based Curriculum in the Classroom
If you're an educator, you've probably heard about the power of games in teaching. Not only do they make learning more enjoyable, but analysis shows that using games in education can support significant increases in student participation, foster social and emotional learning, and motivate students to take risks.
But how do you proceed with implementing this exciting new development in teaching? How do you know what games to use and how to use them?
No worries, we've got your back!
Well, first things first: why are games so effective? Even though it's not the only reason children play games, educators say that games can help disguise the learning of essential but challenging skills that children might otherwise suppress.
Three Ways to Incorporate Gaming into eLearning
Do you want to try something new? Incorporating gaming into your teaching and learning is a great way to have fun and bond with your students. Here are three ways you can try it:
1. Whiteboards and screen sharing
Playing games with your class has never been easier. A collaborative crossword puzzle can be set up easily by sharing your screens with your students. Zoom has a built-in whiteboard to help. If you don't have Zoom, most video apps support screen sharing with drawing programs.
2. Jackbox App
Paying for Jackbox is a great way to let students play games on their own devices. They even have eLearning and classroom games. These games are all rated T for Teen, but many are family-friendly. The awesome part of these games is that you can tailor them to a specific subject.
3. Minecraft Education Edition
Your chance to use Minecraft in the classroom is here! Educators and students can subscribe to the MC Education Edition. Your kids will simply love it!
In the world of gaming, accessories are nearly infinite—from backlit keyboards and wireless mice to enhanced WiFi routers and ergonomic chairs.
However, for this blog post, let's focus on one of the most crucial must-have items…Essential to your gaming equipment is your headset!
With a good headset, you can communicate with your squadmates, listen to incoming enemies before they know you're coming, or just enjoy your favorite game soundtrack in surround sound.
The Perfect Headset
If you've ever toiled to find the right headset with mic for your gaming needs, then look no further. Turns out the same school testing headphones (ones specifically designed for school testing) can also work very well for eSports.
That's right: these popular headphones for schools can crossover from the classroom to the gaming arena and vice versa. Yay, we just love it when a plan comes together! Here are some of our top picks:
- AVID AE-75 Headphones
- Califone 4100-AVT Headphones
- ThinkWrite TW220 Headphones
- HamiltonBuhl WSP2BK Headphones
- Andrea Communications NC-455VM Headphones
Whether you're looking for a higher-end headset like the Andrea Communications NC-455VM Over-Ear USB Headset (headphones with microphone) with In-line Volume and Mute Controls or lower budget options like the HamiltonBuhl WSP2BK USB Headset or the AVID Education AE-75 Over-Ear Classroom Headset TRRS Plug, these USB headsets with microphones will keep your sound quality and comfort high while you learn and play.
Harnessing The Power of Games To Boost Student Engagement and Learning
Games may have a bad rap for encouraging kids to be antisocial, but education games actively promote the exact opposite. Some even require players to work together in order to solve problems or reach the end of a level.
According to research, it's not uncommon for educators to encourage students to collaborate effectively in teams, a building block for strong relationships and skills like cooperation that will be valuable as they progress through school and life.
In fact, most of today's popular video games are based on multiplayer models that bring players together in groups to achieve goals and solve problems collaboratively.
In a recent survey of more than 400 teachers about how their students interact with each other during gameplay, 94 percent said that students make new friends playing educational games in their classrooms while using headsets with microphones.
Today's students are tomorrow's leaders, and that's why it's so important to encourage them to learn teamwork skills—and gaming can help!