New technologies focused on stimulating learning: do they really work?
During the evolution of the human being, the learning methods that he has used have changed , as well as the tools he uses to carry out this purpose.
These methodologies and tools have evolved at the same rate as human beings, going from having very archaic and questionable characteristics to being involved in technology and modernism, with their consequent complexity.
Learning and its evolution with the emergence of new technologies
We could say that until relatively recently, the only teaching method for children of infant age and in older groups was the directive methodology taught in conventional schools that everyone knows. At the same time, for several years, a much less directive and freer type of education based on the needs and preferences of each child is beginning to be normalized and established, in which experience prevails.
This type of education has both advocates and detractors. The latter allege that this type of education is neither serious nor productive since it is not given so much importance to purely academic and book learning, despite all the scientific research that supports this new methodology.
The fact that humanity has always feared the new is no mystery. This phenomenon of aversion to the new or resistance to change, in this case to learning with new technologies, produces strong debates for a long time until the new paradigm ends up being accepted, leaving behind a trace of polarized research and a feeling of obviousness. facing the new paradigm. It is simply a cultural change that will sooner or later take place.
New tools for teaching and learning: video games
Currently a strong debate is being generated in relation to a new paradigm that is being created and established little by little: the normalization of the use of new technologies from a very early age. This paradigm encompasses the entire phenomenon that is occurring in relation to the high “technologization” that society is experiencing in the most developed countries.
As in the case that we have previously commented on the new learning methodologies at school ages, now a similar situation is occurring, but this time, in relation to the tools used to carry out teaching or learning. In this case we are talking about the use of video games as tools to carry out learning or to enhance it and that at present, is undergoing an increasingly wide debate within the discipline of psychology.
Technologies that have come to stay
Before making any act of judgment against the use of video games as a tool through which to learn, we should seriously take into account the context in which we find ourselves in the most developed countries and analyze the evolutionary process that has followed humanity, since electronic devices (just as analogs did in their day) are part of the daily life of the new generations nicknamed “digital natives”.
These same generations grow from almost the first moment surrounded by smartphones , tablets , consoles and a myriad of electronic devices that lay the foundations of their growth in the information age. Thus, it could be almost absurd to try to look the other way and deny a natural evolutionary process, discrediting forms and ways of learning that can be much closer to young people in today’s society and defending other methodologies and tools that did their job well. for years, but over the years they may be becoming obsolete as the subjects to whom they are dedicated do not feel identified with them.
Video games are excellent creativity enhancers
For us, as a company specialized in the psychological analysis of video games and their therapeutic and educational use, one of the areas of learning that we give the most value to is creativity, since it is an area that allows us to develop and enhance the Autonomous Learning.
Video games like the famous Minecraft become powerful tools to foster creativity as they allow the player to enter a world where they can create highly complex architectural works while experiencing an adventure in which they have to survive from hordes of enemies and gather food.
The fact of combining construction with adventure becomes a way, for the player, to learn basic construction and architecture rules, in addition to allowing him to unleash all his creativity, which will be enhanced and polished as more hours go by. playing the video game. We could even say that Minecraft is a 3D creation tool under a gamified approach and dedicated to people without knowledge of programming or 3D modeling; so it is an interesting and useful way to bring these possibilities closer to the youngest and learn by knowing and experimenting in a more playful way.
“Serious Games”: video games made to teach
Other examples of video games with great educational power are the ” Serious Games “, which are explicitly developed to provide an educational experience in which to learn all kinds of things depending on their theme and which become tools created with the clear intention of promote autonomous learning in a playful way adapted to the youth of the current era.
These and many more are some of the video games currently used in some classes around the world to teach academic content and also motivate students to learn them in an innovative and fun way. Society advances and with it technology, and change, inevitable, forces adaptation and brings with it new forms of learning, among many other things.