The technological advances of today’s world present several options for education and the manner of educating. Gone are the days when the only way to educate children is through the traditional classroom lectures…
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Today, educators are faced with varied alternatives on the method of teaching students. One such alternative is the use of video games in the learning process of a child. This paper will discuss the both the advantages and disadvantages of using video games for education purposes with the view in mind of coming to a conclusion as to whether or not games should be used for education in the classroom. According to Munoz, Kevitt and Lunney, unlike the traditional tutoring which depends on the subject taught and the knowledge and experience of the lecturer, educational games and virtual learning environments (VLEs), give the students the topic which they need to learn and at the same time they are able to attain the skills needed to manage the VLEs (Munoz, McKevitt and Lunney 2). They went on further to say that whereas traditional learning poses a problem in adaptability to the pace of each student; VLEs are able to adjust easily to each student’s pace. Bouchaut, Cig, et al concluded that VLEs enriches a student’s education because of its “potential benefits in engagement, attitude, and learning intensity as well as increased collaboration, healthy competition, and detailed learning discussions” (Bouchaut, Cig and Dekker 9). Moreover, they stated that the “virtual world will help transform the classroom into a vibrant, energetic, and crucially learning focused place where students will actually want to learn more” (9). ...
Having discussed the benefits gained from using VLEs, it is important to also look at the other side of the coin. A major drawback presented by critics of video games being used in education is the possibility that students might get too consumed by the games, thereby losing track of the real purpose which is to educate. Some even fear that it may cause addiction among students which will result in more time spent in front of the computer (Bakar, Inal and Kagiltay 2). Another disadvantage of using video games in teaching is that not all games are appropriate to the learning process (Bakar, Inal and Kagiltay 5). The probability of a mismatch between the game content and the educational curriculum exists (Munoz, McKevitt and Lunney 4). Appropriateness is not only concerned with the subject being taught. It is also concerned with the grade level of the students where the games will be used. Proponents of using video games say that its use increases motivation among students but this point is contradicted by other educators who believe that it may also lead to problems in motivation because students have different likes and preferences (Bakar, Inal and Kagiltay 5). What may be a motivator for one student may turn out to be boring for another. The financial issues attached to using video games in the classroom are also major concerns of most schools. If they decide to use the VLEs, a huge part of their budget will have to be invested in computer systems which can accommodate the latest software available. Training of teachers is also inevitable which means additional costs for the schools. To close one’s eyes to the existence and usefulness of video games in the education of the current crop of students is
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