Learning to Play or Playing to Learn?

Digital Blurring – Video Games in the classroom | Week 7

Video Games image

As a pre-service teacher the concept of using video games in Education intrigues me, and deeper exploration into the subject has challenged my preconceived ideas of video games as a purely recreational pass-time.  Learning through play and constructivist are two primary theories that support the incorporation of video games into Education (Annetta, 2008, p. 233). Below is a summary of the positive aspects to online and video games that are conducive to use in an Educational setting:

  • “Produces reductions in reaction times, improved hand-eye co-ordination and raises players’ self-esteem” (Griffiths, p. 47);
  • “Use of logic, memory, problem-solving, critical thinking skills, visualization, and discovery” (Annetta, 2008, p. 231);
  • “Manipulate virtual objects using electronic tools and develop an understanding of the complex systems being modeled” (sic) (Annetta, 2008, p. 231);
  • Generating positive engagement, cooperation, participation and achievement (Annetta, 2008, p. 233).

As discussed in Leonart Annetta’s (2008) article Video Games in Education: Why They Should Be Used and How They Are Being Used states “it is critical to expose and challenge the Net Generation in environments that engage them and motivate them to explore, experiment, and construct their own knowledge” (p, 229).

There is a scope of learning potential within mainstream recreational video games as well as targeted educational video games, also known as serious games (Annetta, 2008, p. 229).  The advantages of incorporating both educational and recreational video games into the classroom is to make “the learning experience more motivating and appealing’ (Rieber et al., 1998 cited in (Annetta, 2008, p. 233). Minecraft is a brilliant example of a recreational video game that has exponential learning opportunities within a classroom setting.  As Annetta discussed “Video games in the classroom are not a replacement for good teaching… They are merely a supplement that engages students in the content and provides an avenue for them to learn difficult concepts of the real world in an environment in which they are comfortable” (Annetta, 2008, p. 236).



Annetta, L. A. (2008). Video Games in Education: Why They Should Be Used and How They Are Being Used. Theory Into Practice, 47. The College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University. doi:10.1080/00405840802153940

Griffiths, M. (2002). The educational benefits of videogames. Education and Health, 20(3). Retrieved April 18, 2014, from http://dh101.humanities.ucla.edu/DH101Fall12Lab4/archive/files/6070f0882cc89baa5a12992aaea56028.pdf

No Title [Image] (2013). Retrieved from http://www.faronics.com/news/blog/winning-students-over-with-classroom-video-games/




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