During the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, online learning has been adopted by many students, teachers, and institutions around the world. In the United Kingdom, the National Literacy Trust surveyed approximately 4,500 students on the correlation between adolescent computer gaming and reading comprehension. Results from the survey showed that computer gaming acted as an avenue through which young children can improve their reading and grammar skills.
Sixty-five percent of the children in the survey stated that video games helped them imagine being someone else. Seventy-three percent of the children who underwent the survey reported that playing video games assisted in them feeling like they’re a part of a story. These are two elements that are critical in the learning process for young people as imagination and storytelling go hand in hand.
The results of the survey has many in shock due to the longtime stigma attached to playing videos games and cognitive ability. These findings could lead to some exciting breakthroughs in the way that future generations begin to learn and retain information.
What it means
Chief Executive of the National Literacy Trust Johnathan Douglas had the following to say about the results of the recent survey: “This research absolutely suggests that mechanisms that young people themselves already enjoy are the best ways to get them into the wider pattern of writing and reading.”
This statement couldn’t be truer as we’ve seen the push for more forward-thinking teaching practices become an emerging trend in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light just how unprepared the commercial schooling industry is to allow their students to make the switch to completely remote learning.
One of the primary hurdles of remote learning as it stands is that of access to reliable internet and computer hardware that meets today’s standards. For a long time there have been learning game platforms like LeapFrog that have been focused on allowing young people to learn while also having fun, however, this new survey puts into perspective how regular video games can also assist in cognitive development in younger children.
Johnathan Douglas continued his above statement by saying the following: “It’s exciting to uncover the opportunities that video game playing can provide for young people to engage in reading, stimulate creativity through writing, enhance communication with friends and family, and support empathy and well-being.”
What to expect
As we see more and more schools adapting e-learning models and solutions, it will be interesting to see how the future of tech-driven education evolves as situations like the COVID-19 pandemic are forcing students and teaches alike to take their classes online. Outside of the hardware roadblocks, many students who play video games are already prepared to make the switch to e-learning platforms.
The surgery conducted by the National Literacy Trust provides a practical basis for the argument that many educators and entertainment producers get into as it relates to how much time a student should dedicate to their studies as opposed to entertainment.