Digital media have dramatically transformed children’s play. From the preschool years on, millions of American children are actively immersed in play within a new, virtual playground.
Research now offers solid evidence that children learn important content, perspectives, and vital “21st-century skills” from playing digital games.
In their recent review of learning and games, Moving Learning Games Forward, Klopfer, Osterweil, and Salen (2009) categorize different types of learning that are possible with games. For example:
- Content (from rich vocabulary to science to history)
- Skills (from literacy to math to complex problem-solving)
- Creation of artifacts (from videos to software code)
- Systems thinking (how changing one element affects relationships as a whole)
Research has begun to document a number of powerful potential benefits from digital-media play, including positive social growth (more peer interaction around common interests), cognition (greater motivation to read and solve problems), and health (better understanding of the importance of healthy behaviors, improved self-care skills, more self-confidence and drive
to carry out those skills).
- Motivation to learn
- Perception and coordination
- Thinking and problem-solving
- Skills and behaviors
- Self-regulation and therapy
- Self concepts
- Social relationships
- Attitudes and values
When parents and teachers were asked to rate digital media’s potential as an educational tool, they said that they viewed the internet, computer programs, and CD-Roms as having more educational potential than other forms of digital media, likely because they require kids to use their reading and writing skills.
At Neuropath Learning we go one step further in providing online computer games for children that foster their critical thinking skills and reinforce important concepts they encounter in the classroom and in the real world. Our interactive learning tools help develop cognitive abilities and executive funtion that is required for success. For more information on our programs, visit our website at http://www.neuropathlearning.com/