I remember telling one of my primary school teachers that I wanted to write about video games for a living. She told me games were a "waste of time" and that they'd "rot my brain". Fast forward 20 years, and it seems as if the world of education is finally starting to see the potential of video games as a tool for teaching and getting kids engaged with learning.
According to a new study commissioned by G2A.COM, nearly half of the teachers in the UK have been using games in lockdown as a vital tool for teaching. Of those teachers, 88% say it has helped them better engage with students - with games now being used across a wide range of subjects, from maths and physics to English literature.
If you're reading this and are currently wondering exactly when your teacher might finally cave and start using Assassin's Creed and Call Of Duty to teach history, I've got good news for you. 47% of teachers who don't currently use gaming as an educational tool said they'd be open to trying it out, with another 50% admitting one of the reasons they haven't yet is because they don't know how or where to start.
Fortunately, there's a remedy for that. This is where the G2A Academy: Video Games in Education comes in to play. For those teachers who want to utilise video games in their teaching, the G2A Academy is a three-part course that effectively unpacks the best way to approach video games as a resource.
G2A Academy was put together by Dr. Szymon Makuch and Dr. Adam Flamma, two up-and-coming gaming academics currently teaching at the University of Lower Silesia in Wrocław, Poland. Accompanying each unit, they've developed a series of sample exercises and interactive materials, with example gaming titles that can be used, to assist the teachers in their efforts.
The full course is completely free-to-access for all teachers, and you can do that by heading over to www.g2a.co/academy and following the instructions. Any non-teachers who want to access the course will have to pay a fee, with G2A donating all profits to digital exclusion charities.
"Myself and Adam are delighted to be able to collaborate with G2A to bring this course to life. We both actively use gaming as a teaching resource and have seen first-hand the benefits it can bring to the classroom," said Dr. Szymon Makuch. "The true power of gaming has yet to be realised in society, and we believe that education is the perfect platform to show it's worth. We look forward to seeing how teachers adopt the G2A Academy teachings to effectively bring gaming into their classes."
As someone who grew up in a time when teaching was a decidedly video game-less affair, I have to say this sounds like a pretty awesome idea. 62% of teachers surveyed believe video games will end up being a vital part of the future of classrooms, so now seems as good a time as any for educators to get stuck in and see how it all works.
"There are lots of subjects that I think could benefit from video games," said 14-year-old pupil James Hume. "Minecraft is a great game full of maths, like coordinates, proportions, and fractions. These are all vital parts of the game and maths as a subject.
"My experience with video games in class are that they are just not exciting enough. Games I have played for literacy purposes are generally very dull and boring, but if there was something more intriguing that had a core game and reading elements, I think that would help increase my general literacy level. Games I have enjoyed in this respect are the Pokèmon games, which are often far more adventure related, with content that really encourages reading."
I give it ten years before kids are writing essays on the complete history of the great Stormcloak Rebellion of Skyrim.
Featured Image Credit: EA/Ubisoft
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