Game-based learning is an incredible digital tool to introduce in the classroom, and if you’re an iPad-ready school, access to quality learning games is right at your fingertips. We’ve compiled five great reasons why (from the academic to the technological) you should make the most out of your iOS devices by using quality learning games.
1. Games on iPads Reinforce 21st Century Skills
iPads have strong potential as a learning platform, and when used as a digital content creation tool or platform for digital experiences, they can provide opportunities for students to build 21st century skills. When students play learning games on their devices, they are not only being introduced to technology and media literacy, but they’re becoming masters of their own learning process. Gameplay allows students to utilize critical and creative thinking to form solutions, be productive while also being engaged, and even build social skills by encouraging classmates or celebrating wins.
2. iPads Allow for Informal Learning with Games
Another strength of tablets is their portability, allowing for use inside and outside the classroom. Learning games have been proven to promote intrinsic motivation for players, so it’s especially important that students have the access to pursue that motivation as it develops. The portability of an iPad creates a perfect platform for self-fostered student learning on their own time. Instead of confining learning to the classroom, taking an iPad home or checking one out from a school’s LMC allows students to take learning home and create informal learning environments.
3. Putting Quality Learning Games on iPads is Easy
If you have numerous iPads in your school and are worried about putting games on each one, Apple makes it easy to install apps from their App Store on multiple iOS devices using their Volume Purchase Program for Education (VPP). Once you’ve found a quality learning game developer, check with your technology team to see if that developer has enabled VPP access for their games so that installing games on multiple iPads can be a breeze. All Filament Learning titles that are iOS compatible are eligible for Apple’s VPP program.
4. Certain iPad Apps Track Progress and Assessment
Instead of purchasing standalone apps from the app store to put on your iPads in the classroom, try and find apps that integrate gameplay with assessment. Several of Filament Learning’s game titles offer a standalone and EDU version. The EDU version of each app is free for teachers and students who have purchased the game at FilamentGames.com. The benefit of using the EDU version versus the standalone is that all game progress and tasks completed by students get recorded automatically for teachers. Another example of quality learning games that track assessment are these titles by GlassLab Games. Teachers can use assessment data to identify students who may be struggling, support students who are excelling through the use of games, or make sure that levels assigned for homework were completed.
5. Games Professional Development can be Tailored to iPads
Are you using games in the classroom, but looking for ways to increase investment from your staff? Many companies offer customized professional development opportunities that will be specifically tailored to iPads’ use. Start off by simply using Apple's Curated professional development courses to get your educators comfortable with the platform, and then take your professional development to the next level by finding courses around using games on iPads, too. Giving your educators the ability to not only have time to work with their devices, but also the time to play games and learn best practices is key to a successful implementation.
If you've implemented a 1:1 Chromebook initiative, check out our tips for using games!