There is a growing pool of educators speaking for the merits and benefits of using online gaming for educational purposes. However, there is still a lot of debate, and no real consensus, about how much prominence should be given to gaming within the curriculum.
It’s perfectly understandable that some parents get apprehensive when their children spend such large amounts of their time away from school glued to screens of one type or another. The answers probably lie in some adjustment on all sides. parents need to give up on the temptation to let the screens be their home nannies to their children for what amounts to almost entirely ‘passive leisure’, making sure to carve out some time to engage their children in some ‘active leisure’ (especially if it entails getting out for some fresh air and physical exercise).
Then, some elements of educational time can be spent using screen based resources, not just games, but also research etc. to enrich the learning processes. It shouldn’t be the case of using ICT purely for the sake of it, or for novelty value, but because it offers clear and tangible benefits to explore certain learning, topics and concepts in ways that are far richer than other learning methods that can be offered in the classroom.
To aid teachers who may be thinking about bringing some elements of educational gaming in to their children’s learning, here’s a web link with lots of ideas and access to various websites of free learning/ gaming resources:
P.S. For the teachers who want to sharpen up their own brains with 5-10 minutes of daily mental exercise, I recommend www.Lumosity.com