Last updated: 20.12.13

Classroom learning being reinforced by computer games

An increasing number of schools are using computer games to assist classroom learning.

Platforms like Apple's popular title Angry Birds have been found to help make lessons more engaging and exciting for schoolchildren, and it is likely that teachers are noticing the benefits as well.

It was recently reported by the BBC that these games are employed for 'stealth learning', and thanks to initiatives being rolled out to make gamification more widespread, pupils are developing skills in a modern and interactive way.

For instance, Angry Birds creator Rovio Entertainment and the University of Helsinki have teamed up to launch a scheme aimed at six-year-olds, demonstrating how play can be successfully incorporated into education.

Sanna Lukander, vice-president of book publishing at Rovio, explained: "These characters and their world seemed to inspire children. You can't not think about how you might motivate children to do more than play."

By tying in popular figures from computer games to classroom teaching, kids are more likely to respond to the information they are presented with and form emotional attachments to learning, which will help them to remember it.

Similar patterns have been noticed in adults as well, with consultancy firm Zostera claiming in a recent blog post for Training Zone that dealing with workplace education on an emotional level and reflecting following training can help individuals to retain important facts.

This could also be the case with schoolchildren, with the arousal of certain feelings that are experienced while playing computer games thought to be important to their levels of engagement with education.

By introducing gadgets like tablets and allowing pupils to use their mobile devices in lessons to access online resources supplied by schools, students are given increased flexibility over their learning and are using technology that they are comfortable with.

Gamification has been a regular source of debate in lots of different sectors, with Professor Peter Henning from Karlsruhe University in Germany recently suggesting it could become central to training healthcare professionals.