In a way, video games are structurally nothing but project-based learning in a digital form
The traditional education system has opposed learning and fun. But the fun doesn’t distract from learning, in fact, education through gaming is more impactful, it helps to learn better, says Zigor Hernandorena Juarros, senior project manager, Fu Learning Department, Ubisoft and speaker at the distinguished lecture series by Unesco Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education and Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP).
Thus, games, either physical or digital, should be used in education as they efficient way of learning, the only difference between the two is that in games, the fun factor is openly assumed. Games imparting education, can not only complement the traditional method but they can also be instrumental in the necessary transition of the current system into one more adapted to the needs of the 21st century
If the role of education is to prepare the young generations to thrive in the world they are going to live in as adults, education system cannot afford not to introduce information technologies as early as possible in the curriculum.
“Today’s children are living in a world where computers are an essential part of their lives. In that context, digital learning games can have two purposes-
progressively introduce kids to the digital future in a form they know, understand and like. Secondly, provide them an interesting and efficient tool of learning,” says Juarros
Also, teaching interdisciplinary subjects is much easier in digital form than in the physical world. Citing an example, Juarros said, if there is a game in which children have to build a robot, they will have to learn physics, mechanics, drawing, maths Design, etc all at the same time. But no one is interested to learn all these things. And here comes the second benefit, in a multi-player game, they have access to the worldwide community of players with whom you can associate to build a robot. So, in addition to acquiring high skills on the subject of choice, they will have to acquire the necessary soft skills to be able to communicate and interact with people of different socio and cultural backgrounds.
The challenges in providing such a pedagogy are many, one of the most important and urgent being the quality of learning applications developed. The attitude of people and education institutes towards gaming is definitely another challenge. The traditional hostility towards gaming is already fading in the education institutions, due to the increasing burden of studies and the latest research in neurosciences that proven that when the learner is actively engaged in the learning process, when his curiosity is encouraged and when you appeal to their intrinsic motivation, the outcomes are infinitely times better than in the traditional education system.
Juarros added that the UNESCO MGIEP is currently working with specialists and researchers from all over the world, to set guidelines and lay the foundation for quality digital learning apps. These guidelines are designed to help the developers create the best possible learning applications, and help the user to separate the wheat from the chaff. Once approved by the 195 components countries of the UNESCO, they will have a global reach.