Gaming in education
gaming in education

The rise of gaming in education and the benefits and risks to students?

Over the last 10-20 years, online gaming has boomed. Since 2015 according to Statista, the percentage of children in the UK who play games online increased from 54% to 80% within 12-15 years old. This blog will go further into the rise of gaming, how UK schools can implement gaming into education and the benefits and risks associated with gaming.

Rise of online gaming.

In more recent years, the pandemic increased spending in the gaming industry; the UK population found gaming an excellent way to pass their free time; Sony and Microsoft broke financial records in 2021.

It has become more accessible to all the gamers to stream themselves playing games and provide live commentary of themselves while playing. The most popular streaming site is Twitch which site streamed more than 57 million hours in March ranging from gaming hobbyists to professional gamers. Twitch offers the chance for streamers to earn money from their views like social media influencers on Facebook, Instagram or twitter.

Viewership of gaming streamers and e-sports events has increased dramatically, allowing the potential earnings of becoming a professional gamer or gaming streamer to be quite appealing. It is now an equal popular dream in schools to become a professional gamer or streamer as it is to become a professional athlete. 

How can schools introduce gaming in education?

Here are three main ways gaming has started to be introduced into UK education.

  • 1) Classroom gaming – Teachers have long used interactive games or mini-games in their lessons to make them more engaging. But gaming is much more than that. It can improve technical skills, problem-solving and social activity, which students are more likely to use every day. 
  • 2) Gaming as a subject – Schools could start teaching gaming and esports as a subject or lesson in the school curriculum; this could pave the way for future careers as game designers, e-sports journalists, e-sports marketing and many more potential future careers in an industry booming. Some institutions have already started offering courses, University of Portsmouth have a course in E-Sports Coaching and Performance.
  • 3) Lunchtime club and after school activities – Gaming and e-sports could be introduced as an after-school club or lunchtime club with the potential for local schools to set up competitions in the same way that current popular sports are run in schools like rugby, football and netball. 

For schools to introduce gaming, it requires an investment in the latest gaming equipment. Our sister company Novatech are a specialist provider of gaming pcs. 

Benefits of gaming in education:

Gaming improves technical skills and problem-solving and increases social activity. Here are some of the top benefits of gaming in education. 

Improved technical skills and digital competence.

Technology has become a predominant part of day-to-day life; the gaming industry is constantly developing and changing with the latest technology trend. Introducing gaming in education can allow students to develop technical competence, which can be practical for their future. 

Improved problem-solving and creative thinking.

When students make a mistake, they can then learn from what they did previously. Most games will require some problem-solving and creative thinking to advance to a later stage or they can require you to test your problem solving and creative thinking against one another. 

Increases confidence and social activity.

Gaming improves social skills; many games require teamwork and communication with one another. Some students might find it easier to communicate when gaming and can improve their social skills in a setting where they feel more relaxed and can contribute to the end goal.  

Improves coordination and memory.

Games quite often require students to work in patterns and learn about the game to improve their ability in the game. In addition, gaming in education can improve coordination and memory. When gaming, students are constantly on alert and focused while also improving memory capacity can improve their level of attention to detail.

What risks are associated with the introduction of gaming in education?

Like anything, there are also risks associated with benefits. Here are the main risks associated with the introduction of gaming to schools. 

Gaming addiction

Games can be addictive as they are designed to get the player to want to play for as long as possible. Schools can reduce the risk of gaming addiction. It might be recommended that gaming in schools is limited in terms of hours allowed to avoid students becoming addicted. 

Online bullying

Another risk of introducing gaming in education is online bullying. Excluding educational games, when students play online games, they can hide behind the screen and giving students more confidence to insult or be abusive to one another. To limit the risk of online gaming, a member of staff should keep an eye on what students say to one another down the microphone.

What are the safeguarding risks?

Games can be violent and sometimes gruesome, which brings up safeguarding concerns with schools’ duty to protect students from harmful content. Schools should only allow age-appropriate games and teachers monitor the content of the games while supervising. 

Another safeguarding risk is the games being online; online means they could play with anyone out of the school network. Schools can apply parental controls to stop students from receiving messages, friend requests and game invites from random online players. 

Summary

To summarise, gaming in education can positively impact students’ education. It can improve skills that standard teaching methods do not teach while improving skills to aid their learning ability. There are risks associated with implementing gaming into a school, but this can be managed and nullified. 

Introducing gaming into your school will increase the traffic to the network and might require higher bandwidth. Coconnect is a specialist provider of broadband, providing tailored solutions to meet schools’ exact needs. If you’re looking to upgrade your broadband line, get in touch, we would be happy to have an honest conversation.

 

 

Latest updates

BT are switching off their PTSN and IDSN lines in 2025. As we know, it is best to plan early with many schools migrating to a cloud phone system.

Find out more about our VoIP phone > https://buff.ly/3AMtusl

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