Benefits of Playing Games in the Online Classroom

“Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning” ~ Diane Ackeman

Before a child ever attends school, one of the first ways they begin to make sense of the world around them and learn new things is through play. This is one of the reasons why I feel so strongly about incorporating games into my online lessons; it just makes sense! If you are reading this article I have a feeling that you may share this sentiment or you are interested in learning more about the benefits of using games in the classroom. In this blog, I share 3 of the major benefits of playing games in the classroom. If you know of more, feel free to add them to the comments section!

Benefit #1:

Playing games in the classroom fosters a positive attitude towards school in general and the subject you are learning about. Let’s think back to when we were in school. Do you remember what your favorite class or grade was? If I can take a guess, it was probably a class where you were having fun! When we incorporate games into our lessons and create a fun environment for students to learn they are going to be excited to come to class, and more open learning new things and coming to class because it means they can continue to play games and have fun! This can be absolutely live changing because your students are going to view learning as something they want to do and not something that they have to do.

Benefit #2:

Once students start to associate your class as a fun place that they want to be, their engagement and participation in the class will increase. And, as most of us know, when students are actively participating and engaging with the lesson material (and in this case the games you are playing) they are that much more likely to develop a deeper understanding of the subject. So pretty much it is a win for everyone. If the student is enjoying leaning about the subject matter through the game format they may also be inspired to continue learning on their own which is pretty much every teachers dream.

Benefit #3:

Playing games in the classroom creates a low-stress environment where students are allowed to work together, take risks, make mistakes, and learn from them. Playing games as a group or a team fosters a sense of cooperation between classmates and helps students work on their teamwork skills. You can also choose to have students play the game independently. Either way, playing a game is way less stressful than completing a worksheet or having to produce a text. Games have the exciting ability to be played multiple times so that students can learn from their mistakes and see their improvement. And, when students are feeling less anxious they can perform better and think clearer because their mind is focused on the fun activity instead of feeling stressed. And, while at times it may still be necessary to have students complete a worksheet, quiz, or test, having them first practice the lesson topic in a game format is a great way to build their confidence so they go into future assignments feeling prepared.

Now that you understand WHY it is important to play games in your classroom you may be wondering HOW you can do this. I knew you may be wondering this question so I have left a few resources for you down below! These are great starting points to get the creative juices flowing and begin brainstorming ways you can incorporate games into your lessons because as we learned, there are so many benefits of doing this!

LIVE MASTERCLASS: How to Gamify Your Online Lessons (sign up and join Dec. 1st 7pm EST)

YOUTUBE VIDEO: Top Tools To Create Games For Your Online Classroom

YOUTUBE VIDEO: Step by Step How to Create a Boardgame Using Canva

BLOG POST: How to Gamify Your Online Classroom in 3 Easy Ways

TPT RESOURCE: 18 Customizable Game Templates

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