Living in a world filled with various technological advances there seems to be a rift between old school and new school, making it a very interesting topic of discussion and the impact it has on the education sector of not only South Africa but also the world. With so much opportunity for online learning available today, and the various platforms offering a vast variety of virtual learning content, it is impossible to look past the impact of online gaming. Swales Online Academy’s approach to learning and their use of interaction with a twist gives them an edge on all of their competitors.
Impact of screen time
Growing up, a lot of youth were seen in front of television sets playing on various available consoles and for many parents out there, the general consensus was it would cause the ‘square eyes’. According to the Oxford Languages Dictionary, this is a humorous saying that your eyes will get affected by spending too much time in front of a screen. How true is this though, and is there really a downfall to this?
Although there are some negative impacts regarding screen time, I am of the opinion that the positives far outweigh the negative. The educational value in itself is a topic that could be discussed for many years, but more than so, the motor skills and coordination development though playing games is of cardinal value to the modern day society we find ourselves in. Living in a fast paced world where the days seem to go so much quicker than before, people are adapting quicker and realising that the use of technology is enabling us to do so much more, but also way more efficient and faster than what would have been able to in previous years.
Gamification in the online classroom
Making use of various tools that an institution like Swales Online Academy uses in the virtual classroom that is game orientated, gives the evolved learner of today an opportunity to push boundaries that their predecessors would normally not have been able to do due to a lack of innovative virtual learning strategies. Whether in primary school, high school or even tertiary institutions, the use of gamification is a tool that assists in developing core skills and advancing students to the next level of competiveness in any field of choice.
The biggest question we have to ask ourselves is; how do we use this technology available to us in a learning environment and what process would we need to follow, to allow for full engagement from our students?
Making use of gamification
In my opinion we need to follow the following 5 processes:
1. Determine what you want to achieve
2. Apply your mind and find the best suitable technology to use
3. Simplify the process so that learners from across all spectrums have an equal opportunity to gain the same knowledge
4. Understand the dynamic of your learner pool and ensure the inclusivity of all by finding alternative solutions should there be learners at some form of disadvantage
5. Implement strategies to assist yourself as well as your learners to overcome any stumbling blocks
Results of Gamification in an online environment
When teachers follow the simple, ‘I talk, you listen’ way of teaching, somewhere along the pathway of learning, students will get lost and some very important foundational elements of teaching goes missing and this has a massive impact on the development of our beloved country as the quality of information gets condensed and simplified. Making use of games, creating a classroom environment that is interactive, assists in engaging a learners mind so that real world processes are no longer daunting and challenging. This truly enhances the virtual classroom.
Going back to the impact of Gamification in the online classroom, I can only implore you to engage with these amazing tools to improve the future of our youth.
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