Teachers Views About Use of Games in STEM Learning


Teachers Views About Use of Games in STEM Learning
Everyone loves to play games. In recent years, game based learning has received significant attention as a great way to engage students with educational concepts. There is no doubt that games improve one’s critical thinking and problem-solving nature. 
Words make students listen, tutorials make them watch and only games make them involved.

Especially, educational streams such as STEM  (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) include diverse subjects, of which many are complex to understand through lectures or tutorials. They need more involvement because one can’t learn them effectively just by reading and watching. Many educators have already recognized this fact and started using educational games that enable STEM content. Let’s have a look at the views of educators on using games in STEM.

While going through many references about usage of games in STEM learning, I found a very interesting statement which is of a teacher proudly announcing that her student became a great educational game developer. I can’t stop sharing it with you. Have a look at that awesome written expression. To make it effective, I made all the details available through hyperlinks.

“In the 8th decade of the twentieth century, I taught a sixth grader who became Dr. Scott Laidlaw , creator of an online computer math game covering math skills from grade 5 through 8. It's called "Ko's Journey ," and was so popular with his middle school students, they wanted to stay inside and play the game because it was "more fun than recess." And that was a math skills game!”- Dr. Madlon T. Laster.

Not only Madlon, but also many veteran teachers have agreed that educational games have a greater impact in motivating students over traditional classroom methods. So, there is no wonder that educators have a completely positive opinion on games in STEM learning.

Peggy Sheehy’s approach towards games in STEM learning:

Peggy Sheehy, an educator who is very passionate about virtual worlds and games in education, has represented her views in a guest post on education week’s blog. Some exclusive theories are as follows.

According to Peggy Sheehy, the reason behind the introduction of games into STEM education is because of the lack of sufficient talented educators in STEM as well as greater efficiency of educational games in engaging students with STEM concepts. Last year, a survey said, only 17 percent of U.S.’s 12th-grade students were proficient in Math or demonstrate any interest in STEM subjects and the school districts were unable to fill this gap as there are less number of talented educators in STEM. The best solution was that of engaging students with educational games as they are hotbeds for STEM.

According to Peggy Sheehy, the motivational aspect of games and the potential of experiential learning through simulation are the basic reasons for her passion towards usage of games in STEM.

Alex Sarlin’s view about STEM games:

Alex Sarlin, Senior Producer at Scholastic Corporation and Course Operations/Pedagogy Specialist at Coursera, has given an explanatory answer for all those educators who are concerned that games will make kids anti-social or hypnotized. He has pointed out the fact that these concerns had been raised for every new communication namely, TV, mobile devices, social networks, YouTube, etc., in the last century. He has mentioned about STEM games here that true media literacy actually prepares children for their adult lives and students for their professional lives as well. His entire view concludes the fact that there is nothing wrong in being future oriented.

Shawn Cornally’s approach towards games:

Shawn Cornally, a STEM teacher and a frequent user of games, is always enthusiastic to tap educational games into his classroom. He has shared his views on games through a guest post.

“Games represent interesting iterations on the real world that can help emphasize principles and behaviors that, on Earth at least, are either too strong or too subtle (e.g. gravity).”

According to Shawn, bringing games into STEM learning can often cause teachers to take break, educators can easily put students on track if they use it effectively. He also mentioned the games he has used in his classroom.

We hope this information is useful for you to know about what teachers think about the usage of educational games in STEM learning. We’d like to have your views as well. Please feel free to share with us in the comment box.

 
About the Author
Author: Santosh Bhaskar KWebsite: http://www.twitter.com/SantoshBhaskarK
Devotee of Dr. Abdul Kalam. Following his path of Creating Creative Education in India. Contributing my works in "India Vision 2020". Former EdTech Blogger/Researcher at ETR India

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