Did you know human beings spend three billion hours a week playing video games?

Did you know human beings spend three billion hours a week playing video games? In fact, The 2008 Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 97 percent of kids ages 12 to 17 play a digital game every week, with about half playing daily. With game-based learning, educators can leverage students’ favorite pastime to create rich and engaging learning experiences after school.

Game-based learning (GBL) is a type of game play with defined learning outcomes that support exploration and experimentation to foster creativity, promote active learning and keep students highly engaged. According to the scholars of The Education Arcade at MIT, “game players regularly exhibit persistence, risk-taking, attention to detail, and problem-solving, all behaviors that ideally would be regularly demonstrated in school.” Several features of the after school environment make it a great fit for GBL:

  • Has no curriculum requirements: With no set standards to follow, the students can have the opportunity to be their creative and innovative selves.
  • Is in an informal setting: GBL is highly experiential, and informal environments encourage students to take risks and learn from their mistakes.
  • Can leverage community resources: After school programs can build community partnerships to provide real-world experiences, such as inviting guest speakers and taking field trips.

GBL increases student engagement, fosters creativity and encourages risk taking. With their flexible, low-risk environments and connections to the community, after school programs are great avenues for delivering effective game-based learning.

Visit our Game-Based Learning board on Pinterest for more information and resources.