Discussion Board # 2-Gaming
What benefits and challenges are associated with gaming in the classroom?
As an Early Childhood educator in a small non-profit preschool, some of the challenges I face in the classroom is the limited quantity of devices that are available for the students to use. As you can imagine, two iPads in a classroom of 18 four-five-year-old’s produces conflict during Center time. To be fair, a timer is set to allow as many students as possible to get a turn with an iPad. Since the time each student has to play a game is limited, it’s difficult for students to progress to the next level within a game.
The benefits associated with Starfall, the educational gaming system used during Center time is that the games align with the literacy and mathematical objectives found in the curriculum used by the center. The games are interactive and therefore children remain engaged. According to the author of Using Games to Help Improve K-2 Students’ Phonics skills, games, the author explains that games are effective ways of developing and enhancing young children’s phonological awareness (Smith, 2022).
Do you have any strategies that you use to make gaming productive?
In my Pre-K classroom, I make gaming during Center time productive by ensuring that the games that are available during Center time align to the phonics and mathematical concepts being learned. According to Hughes and Roblyer, games have become so interactive that they grasp the students’ attention leading to growth in subject areas such as literacy and math (Hughes & Roblyer, 2023).
When is gaming inappropriate in the instruction setting?
Gaming is inappropriate when it takes the place of direct instruction. Games should be used in conjunction to teach and to enhance lessons. In Early childhood classrooms, games should never take the place of interactions and hands-on exploration.
Roblyer, M. & Hughes, J. (2023). Integrating educational technology into teaching, (9th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.
Smith, D. (2022). Using Games to Help Improve K-2 Students’ Phonic Skills. Edutopia.