Learning from Video Games While Homeschooling During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Mission US Video Game-https://edsitement.neh.gov/student-activities/mission-us-crown-or-colony-game

By Dr. David Childs, Ph.D.
Northern Kentucky University

In many households young people all over the United States have suddenly been introduced to homeschooling due to self-quarantine and social distancing as result of the coronavirus. However, the idea of homeschooling can have some drawbacks if not planned properly. One possible drawback is that parents and guardians might struggle to keep their children on a productive routine. Another struggle with homeschooling is the many distractions that can present themselves while at home. Indeed it is often difficult to keep students motivated because there are competing interests going on as well and without strict enforcement of rules the work will not get done. Some of the major distractions are the Internet, social media, television and video games. I will admit, even in my own household my children have spent hours upon end playing video games. Furthermore, if I let them they would spend day after day alternating between navigating social media and playing video games or often doing both at the same time. In light of this, we thought it would be advantageous to republish an article on using video games as an educational resource.            

Originally published April 28, 2019
With the advancement of science in the twenty-first century there is an increasing push for the integration of technology in school curriculum and instruction. One area of technology that has seen much growth is the video game industry; it is a multi-billion dollar industry. Home gaming entertainment systems have evolved and changed since their debut in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Systems like the Atari 2600 and ColecoVision had graphics that were so primitive that they are considered laughable in comparison to modern systems such as PlayStation, X-Box and Nintendo Switch.

Video games have other uses besides mere entertainment. For example, the military has long used gaming for combat training and simulation and for flight simulation. Another growing use of video games is in the realm of education. Using video games for educational purposes is nothing new, many people of a certain generation remember Oregon Trail and early math video games of the late twentieth century. However, many teachers do not realize the incredible role video games can play in the classroom today, especially in the area of social studies. This article will offer resources, lesson ideas and how video games may be used effectively and creatively in the classroom. There are also a few links to social studies themed video games that can be played online. At the end of the article are questions for discussion and reflection surrounding effective uses of video games in the classroom.

Lesson Ideas and Resources- Using Video Games to Teach Social Studies
Exactly How To Teach With Video Games In The Classroom
Six Video Games You Can Teach With Tomorrow
Here’s How Gamer-Teachers Use Video Games In The Classroom
How to Incorporate Popular Video Games into a Lesson Plan
Video Games as Historical Content

Videos showing Sample Social Studies Themed Games and How Games can be used In the Classroom
Video Games in the Social Studies
Assassin’s Creed Origins Cinematic Trailer (Julius Caesar & Cleopatra)
Total War: Three Kingdoms Announcement Cinematic Trailer
Assassin’s Creed III: E3 Cinematic Trailer
Assassin’s Creed 3 Gameplay Walkthrough Part 3 – Welcome to Boston
Valiant Hearts E3 Trailer [US]
Valiant Hearts: The Great War Walkthrough PART 1
King’s Quest

Social Studies Themed Video Games to Play
Airman’s Challenge- US Air force Game
Mission US
Arcane The Stone Circle – Episode 7
On the Trail of Captain John Smith
The Following Games Are Published By the History Channel
Meet the President
Social Studies Video Games
Oregon Trail

What are the world’s Top 5 video game markets? A Foolish Take
Global Games Market Value Rising to $134.9bn in 2018 
History of Video Games- National Geographic
History of Video Games
Video Game: The Ralph Baer Prototypes and Electronic Games
How Video Game Systems Work
How the US military is using ‘violent, chaotic, beautiful’ video games to train soldiers
Uncle Sam Wants You — To Play Video Games for the US Army
Exceptional Military Video Games Worth Binging This Holiday Season Gaming: The Air Force’s Newest Recruitment Tool 
Let the Games Begin: Entertainment Meets Education Video games, once confiscated in class, are now a key teaching tool — if they’re done right.
Teaching History With Digital Historical Games: An Introduction to the Field and Best Practice

Discussion Questions:
1. What are creative ways you can use video games as an educational tool while under self-quarantine?
2. What are your immediate reactions to the resources and articles?
3. What resources above stand out to you the most? What surprises you? What do you find interesting?
4. What resources or lessons might you like to see in a classroom? What would you implement/try out in your teaching?
5. What technology, gaming tools or media have you used in your classroom?
6. What kinds of technological resources do you find most helpful in your classroom?
7. What are some factors that make a video game an effective tool in teaching social studies?


  1. Much of my early exposure to history and social studies was through gaming, so this is a topic close to my heart. I’ve not played Total War: Three Kingdoms yet, but the Total War series is a fantastic resource for engaging with history thanks to its relative complexity and robust in-game encyclopedia that goes into further detail about the technologies, buildings, and soldiers you can develop.

    I think the first aspect of teaching using video games successfully is that it needs to be a fun game students actually want to experience. There are a couple History Channel games available on Playstation that have some interesting information and concepts, but they have messy controls and I doubt most students would want to actively engage with them for long. In the same way that a dryly produced documentary may have good information but puts the entire class to sleep, it’s critical that the games you pick be something that your students will enjoy in some capacity.

    The second key thing is that we need to be explicit in the purpose and objective of having students play games. We need to explicitly state a purpose (and have students do something related to that purpose after their experience with the game, such as writing a reflection paper or picking out things they saw that they would like to learn more about) in order for it to be more than just a play session. Open world games like Skyrim and Assassin’s Creed do indeed have things to teach students, but unless we are being purposeful and selective in how we present those learning targets, students will be unlikely to consciously absorb the educational aspect and will instead spend the entire class period casting spells or terrorizing the digital townsfolk.

    • I do think since the pandemic, amongst all the craziness, parents have found it hard to keep their children focused on school still. Video games can be negative if collaborated with violence, war or guns. Video games can also keep a child focused and mind stimulated if it involves education while still being “fun.” I know my daughter has video games/education programs incorporated in her learning assignments during this pandemic, and she loved it.

  2. It is ironic how timely this article has come to be in just under a year! While video games and online teaching resources have been necessary and helpful to learning for years now, this pandemic requires it like never before. Having close family and friends with children in elementary school, it is clear to see how overwhelming this transition to homeschooling has felt for some. I enjoyed looking through some of the resources provided on this page as well as the possible lessons to go along with them. I particularly liked the Meet the President link to PBS. It was very kid-friendly and allowed students to look at all of the different presidents as well as watch a show about petitions and other political matters. Before school closures I was in a first grade classroom and I was able to observe the class log into multiple websites and games. I can say with confidence that they would be able to access the PBS resource and be able to learn. Thanks for providing so many options!

  3. I found this article to be interesting, especially in light of our current situation. It has always been a concern of mine, as well as other teachers and parents, that kids may spend too much time online or playing video games. I believe that kids should spend time outside being active, or socializing with family members. However, with lessons being taught online, now is a great time to take advantage of children’s’ interests in technology. Without a doubt, video game companies are making big money from this pandemic, as families are told to stay out of public environments. From my own personal experience of social distancing, I can confirm that staying in the house all day can get boring. But, I wonder how we as teachers can use this as our advantage and incorporate video games into our online lessons. This would be a great way to not only promote learning, but to also keep the interests of our students in mind. There are so many educational games that students can play with the push of a button that can be entertaining as well as informational. This also makes me think about how if this becomes a positive way to learn, if whether or not this type of learning will occur in the future even after this pandemic is over. I wonder if more people will have access to technology and video games, and that more lessons will be taught at home because it can be so convenient.

  4. This article is very interesting! I really like the idea of using video games as a Social Studies Unit! This gives students an educational “break” which is incredibly important! This is an amazing way to help keep the student’s attention during their Quarantine. I really love the website Mission US! I remember using it in class as a college student and getting excited to explore it! It is a great way to have fun while learning Social Studies!

  5. I think that it is a great idea to incorporate home gaming systems in schools today. I believe that for certain students it may help them grasp a certain subject a little bit easier. I also think that at this point in time, gaming systems will help more of the hands-on classes that are unable to meet at the University or grade school level. For example, I know that classes are on hold due to the current pandemic, and I think that for classes such as welding, this would be a great tool to use so that the students aren’t just reading and memorizing the textbook. I also think that it is a good idea to give this technology to future doctors. Because even though we currently have simulations for the medical field, I believe they could be better. The medical simulations are used for medical students to practice procedures but not do them on living humans. So if they do the procedure wrong, it affects the elect Tronic patient and not the living breathing one. The example of the Oregon Trail game, is a great resource that a social studies educator could use in their classroom to give the students an experience that they would not of had otherwise. It will also help them understand that Social Studies isn’t just memorizing dates, it’s about learning our culture and how it came to be.

  6. I absolutely love the idea of children playing video games that have an educational aspect. As we have seen in our education classes, technology in the classroom can improve learning when used appropriately. Technology is only going to get more and more popular in every aspect of our lives. It only makes sense to include technology in the education system. Not only can students learn from technology, the simple act of using technology will help them to be more technology literate.
    Having a child during this time and switching from being a parent to also being a teacher can be difficult, even for those of us who are educators or future educators. Introducing educational video games to our children who are learning at home right now is a great tool to not only entertain them, but to keep them on track with learning goals. It is important that we keep things light and fun during this time because there are so many other things that are able to worry and stress our children out. I think educational video games are a great way to do this.

  7. Wow. As a parent, I’m navigating unknown territories. I’m also belligerently against schooling my own child, she and i have borderline-issues anyways. However, I am willing and in TO DO MY BEST and I will. I am trying so hard. That all sounded mean, but really I’m bad at math and i don’t want to pass it on. I’m worried that I will.

  8. Without my knee jerk response as a parent, now that I’m putting an educator’s pants’ on- none of this good. None of this good for educators’- unless we are all onboard. This situation is unprecedented, and requires new paradigms we haven’t conceived. But we will. Patience. We are adaptable, and we will make it.

  9. It’s crazy how an article from last year around this time can be so relevant to what is happening in our world today. There’s a great deal of additional stress on parents and guardians during this time to make sure that their children are still receiving quality education. It’s easy to fall out of a routine and not be productive during this time, and also to feel discouraged. However, it’s important to implement a simple routine and get rid of distractions to make sure students are getting the most out of their education. A couple of huge distractions for students at home right now are social media and video games. Luckily there are educational video games out there to keep students entertained while they’re learning. This article offers some great resources.

  10. This is a difficult experience and definitely something I never saw coming. I assumed I would finish the semester with 3rd-grade students and my classmates. I never expected my sister to finish her junior year away from her closest friend, or miss her first prom. Elearning was not even a thing when I went to school and now students’ sole education is strictly based on Elearning. Parents are trying to find an education avenue to keep their young students occupied. After reading this article, this website allows children to experience education through a video game. Students are learning about history through the lens of a video game. I appreciate this recourse and I know that the parents that I will share this website with will also be excited to try it out!

  11. I found this article to be very interesting because as a child, playing video games seemed to be a luxury for me. If I did not feeling like going outside or if the weather was bad, I would stay and and play my Play Station. It was known as something that kept me busy and entertained me. I find it amazing that they now use video games for educational purposes! This also makes it beneficial for students who are home schooled because as the article states, students are really trying hard to balance what they activities they enjoy and their school work. There are many distractions at home that can aid in the child being off task with their work. By using video games as a teaching resource, students are able to complete their work, but also enjoy their work at the same time. I really enjoyed looking at the resources included this article, and found out that the game Fallout 4 (one of my favorite games to play) can be used in social studies by recognizing problem solving and resource management skills.

  12. This article was originally written last year and has now been reposted. The article is now extremely relevant with NTI schooling that is occurring all around the world. Keeping students motivated and engaged as the article stated is a big issue for parents. Especially when parents are trying to work from home themselves. Games such as the one mentioned in this article can be beneficial as they are engaging and can be done without the assistance of parents. In this article the Oregon Trail video game is mentioned. This is one of the games I remembered playing in school. The topic of expanding west in my memory is always coupled with this game. These games can be exciting and also extremely educational for students. This article gave a lot of good examples of such games.

  13. As our world becomes increasingly virtual, within a decade things that were only possible without technology, has now became exclusively only with technology. Shopping, communication, learning, entertainment and now work is done behind the screen of a device. I was drawn to this article because I remember playing Oregon Trail as a child on PC, and how you had to travel from place to place and talk to the townsperson about items you needed for your journey. Our whole country is consumed with technology and it is going to continue this way.
    As educators, it’s important that we are up to date on the latest educational tools and to help students increase their 21st Century skills which are crucial to survival in this modern world. I loved these resources and will be using them in the classroom to better engage and connect with students.

  14. It surprises me how much children would rather spend their time playing video games than being outside with their friends. When students think of video games more than likely they are not thinking about how it can connect to a subject in school. With everything that is going on in the world today and students having to be taught at home, I think to find a game that relates what you are teaching can get the student interest in the lesson. Letting the student know that they can expand their knowledge in the subject but can also play an interactive way might be a better way for the student to learn and grasp the lesson more. Mission US would be a great game for students to play for Social Studies instead of playing on their Xbox, Playstation, etc. I find this website to be very educational and fun at the same time. I did enjoy this article.

  15. With everything that has been going on the past few weeks or so, there has been a lot of change & areas of my life that I’ve had to think about when I never did before. Of those many thing, one really connected to this articles overall topic which was how so many people (of all ages) are being forced to learn & communicate almost solely through online resources. For me personally, I had NEVER even heard of “Zoom” until almost 3 or 4 weeks ago. Now I am using it almost every week day. While it has worked out pretty well so far, it is still so new to me as I am still trying to get used to it. And thinking about my experiences using online resources for school & work really got me thinking about how elementary students, and high school students are going about learning & finishing out their respective school years. I can’t even begin to imagine how students (grades K-8th), and honestly high school as well, are going about doing this. While it may be very chaotic & difficult right now, I truly believe that everyone that is going through this process of having to do school from home will benefit from this in one way or another. One way I think is learning to become a little self-dependent & having to take responsibility at such a young age, because while their can be parents & older siblings helping out, it is on each individual to learn & do their work themselves through whatever online resource is being used. One point made in the article that I really related to was when it mentioned how so many across this country, and really the world, are having to stay inside their home……..A LOT. And how video games & tv & using various devices (cell phones, iPads, ect) are being used probably more than they should be. I know my siblings & I have been playing games WAY to much as we have almost completed TWO video games that we had just received through the mail less than a week ago! But while there are so many distractions involved with working / doing school from home, there are positives that can come from online resoruces, and video games as well (as it’s stated in the article). I liked a lot of the resources / links that were provided at the end of the article. One online game that I had played a lot when I was a kid was Reader Rabbit, and while thinking back to it, it always seemed a little silly with some of the songs & how it was actually played out, but when I really thought about it, there really was a lot that I actually was able to learn from it, & honestly still do remember today. Overall, I think this article focuses on an area of our life that, while we have advanced INCREDIBLY within, as it states some of the first formats of video games to the kinds of games that exist today. But while we have advanced in some areas of it, I really do not think we have fully tapped into how EFFECTIVE online teaching / video games can be at teaching young children & students of all ages various school topics. And I feel like in maybe 10 years or so, we will look back to this time (2020) & remember that this was the time that we really figured out something that was so beneficial to developing & helping kids grow & learn. Helping more & more students succeed at all ages. Really good article & topic in my opinion. Something that I really do not think is talked about enough, even though we (as a society) use social media & devices A LOT as it is!

  16. This article is very relevant to what is happening in time right now. Kids are having to do school online and parents are having to learn new ways to keep their children entertained ALL DAY long. I have two younger siblings, a sister in 5th and a brother in 3rd, in elementary school who are now doing online school. One of my close friends is also my brother’s teacher. With that being said, I have heard both sides of what it’s like to be a teacher right now trying to plan online lessons and how students are handling school work online. My sister has been required to watch educational activities and do online history activities like mission us on her computer. In these crazy times of things changing around us so quickly, children need to be kept on a schedule, especially a routine with school.

  17. This article was an interesting read and very relevant to what is going on in the world right now. I work at a daycare in Indiana, and we have school age students right now. We also have a new policy due to COVID-19 that children are not allowed to bring anything in that they want to take home at the end of the day (other than materials for their new instruction for school). It has been very interesting to see how the behavior of the kids has changed since they are not longer allowed to bring in their personal technology to play video games on. Thankfully, the students are staying on a routine and this has helped with the behavior a lot, but I never realized how much some kids rely on video games. Some of them moan and cry at the words “We are going outside”, while others get excited. This article does a great job at showing how parents have to entertain their students also while helping them with their online schooling.

  18. I would never have thought that schooling would come to how it is now. It is amazing how this pandemic has impacted the school system as much as it has. It’s crazy to see how something that people used to see as bad, video games, has now turned into one of the best ways for students to get a better education now that students have classes online. I was trying to think of ways to teach an online lesson and was asking my little sisters what they thought that I could use and they suggested a video game that they used in school. I think it’s important for students to have access to fun ways of learning whether they are in the classroom or out.

  19. A big concern of mine during this whole pandemic is absolutely the children. From the beginning of all this, I have worried about if the kids are actually getting what they are supposed to be getting. Although sad, it is not hard to believe that some parents are not being strict enough about them getting the school work finished whether its online or pages at home. It is also not hard to believe, but also sad that it could also be that teachers have not created a support system enough for some children to be able to understand or get the help they really need to get the assignments or even videos finished. There is little motivation to do this right now and many distractions in the world, when routine is not implemented. I am very interested to see how the students and schools handle the change back to normal schooling one day. If it ever goes back to “Normal”

  20. I think this is a great time to republish this article about educational games and resources for students during this time. Some students don’t fully understand the pandemic, they just know that their daily routine just got turned upside-down in a matter of weeks. I 100% agree with the distractions at home, I am a college student who struggles sometimes at home to stay focused so I can’t imagine being a young student and having to do school work at home with distractions. On top of that some students don’t have that routine that they are used to anymore so these educational games can help students learn in a way that they parents can help them with. I know that is a down fall to some parents, they don’t remember the material or aren’t sure how to teach their student the material. These educational games will be really helpful for those parents.

  21. This article is very relevant to the generation of kids that are currently in the classroom. Technology has made such large strides in, not just the world, but in the classroom. By using video games as a tool and resource to keep the students engaged and interested in the content. I personally have used mission-us.org to teach about the dust bowl and the students were very engaged and had fun putting themselves into the shoes of someone who experiences it. It gave them a new perspective about what went on during that time. Most kids are learning more and more by visual aids and kinesthetic qualities, and video games provide just that. At this current time where many people are under quarantine for COVID-19, this is a great way to get students back in to the groove of learning, but done at home in a fun process. The links and examples provided are great resources to use in my classroom and will definitely be looking more into them and others.

  22. It is crazy to think how far video games have come from. During the start video games were just 2 dimensional without much texture or anything at all. When I was first going through my schooling for the military we used some simulated driving game. We sat in a replica of a military truck with the same control panel and used what we have learned to practice some driving scenarios. These scenarios had malfunctions and everything that we had problem solve on the fly. Another simulation we used was rifle training at various ranges and wind speeds. I do remember playing The Oregon Trail a few times while I was in middle school and maybe even in some elementary classes. We have this game on our home computer and it is fun to play with the family. One of the major things we use video games in our house are to read. We read books, but when we start playing a game it seems like it gets more interest in my two younger children. One of our gaming rules is that we have to read the text out loud and if we skip the text we are finished playing.

  23. This topic is such a relevant topic because of the rapid growing popularity in technology in this generation.  I am strong believer that you can’t keep kids away from technology because of how dependent the world has become on it to thrive.   I began learning through online platforms as early as elementary school and progressed my skills at an early age, such as learning how to properly type through a program in 3rd grade to memorizing multiplication facts in 4th grade.  Learning through video games not only keeps your attention on the topic itself, but also aids in retaining the information.  You’re going to learn more by doing something you want to do and is fun vs something you feel like you’re being forced to do.

  24. As a parent with a 14-year old, we struggle with the video game topic. How much time playing on a game is too much? The one he plays most right now is the basketball game, 2K20. On the plus side, it gets him outside playing basketball in our driveway. He plays online with kids from his school, and then they arrange times to get together to play. Only one at a time, during this pandemic. If there is a negative, it would be that he talks incessantly about every single player. How tall they are. Their stats. Etc., etc., etc. I know more about these basketball players then I ever wanted to know 
    One occasion that was amazing to me, is that a few months ago, his Social Studies teacher called him aside and talked to him about how well he did on his latest test. Nathan explained to his teacher, it was a video game, Assassin’s Creed Origins. It taught him everything that was on the test! The teacher did some investigating of his own, and Nathan was proud to tell me that the next day he had the famous pyramid background of the videogame on his computer as a background!

  25. This is definitely relevant to the situation we are facing today. With everyone having to stay at home, kids more than ever are playing video games. Why not use them to teach them concepts especially in social studies and math? The web and even consoles now feature a plethora of titles that not only hold the kids interest but help them grow their critical thinking skills, knowledge of historical events, and more. From personal experience, as a child, I remember spending time learning about the American movement west and using critical thinking and decision making in playing the Oregon Trail.

  26. This article definitely peaked my interest as a parent to a 14 year old and also as a future teacher. As we have been in quarantine and have had to navigate home schooling there are times that having a video game to teach lessons would have come in very handy! But honestly I don’t think this would be applicable to every subject and from our experience the teachers did an amazing job teaching remotely.
    There really could be a place for video games for history classes though. Growing up I played Oregon Trail in school and learned a lot from it at the time. History is extremely important for our students to learn about and get engage in. As they say, If we do not learn about the past we are destined to repeat it. Maybe someone could design a video game to teach about what we have/are experiencing with COVID 19 and in the game you have the ability to try out different scenarios to get multiple outcomes.

  27. I had never thought video games would be considered positive for young children until this pandemic. I always thought they were distracting, a bad influence, and took away from children learning lessons outside of their computer screen. I was a child who always played outside rather than stayed inside and looked at a screen. However, with recent times, I agree that some video games could be important in contributing to a child’s education. Back in elementary school, we used to play the Mission US game (shown above) and I still remember it to this day because it had a big impact on me and made me learn the topic much better. I like how Dr. Childs talks about using them for simulations, like combat training or even learning how to be a doctor through simulating surgeries. Technology is a huge part of our world now and can be used in a variety of ways.

  28. I think this is a great idea. Especially now, when parents are struggling with finding new ways to home school and keep their children interested in learning. So many kids play video games and already know how to use them, why not use it to educate our kids. I liked the point Dr. Childs mentions about using them for simulations. I work in the medical field so kids being able to use it to practice surgeries, or procedures would be really awesome. It would help them see if they have a real aptitude for something before picking a career or college.

  29. I do think since the pandemic, amongst all the craziness, parents have found it hard to keep their children focused on school still. Most parents try their best to keep children focused on their school work during the day so at the end of the day they can have a little free time to play games.  Video games can be negative if collaborated with violence, war or guns. I got to see at first hand how my siblings got distracted during school and would go off for a couple of hours and play around rather that focusing on the work they need to complete.

  30. As a parent with two children in grade school, I know how hard it is to keep them focused on school work while at home. I never considered using video games as an educational tool until this article. I too remember the Oregon trail being the highlight of my school day, and as a child I was not aware that I was actually learning too. If I could get my kids to enjoy learning like they enjoy video games, they could really excel when school does restart. I believe making education fun is the best way to have the child retain the information being taught.

  31. Having grown up playing video games, I understand how it can suck kids into it for hours on end. But if those video games were altered to teach lessons much like the Oregon Trail game has, kids may be more motivated to learn because to them it is simply a game. It has been shown to work for the military when training recruits, so why couldn’t it work for this purpose too?

  32. Growing up I beyond despised videogames. I thought of them as being a waste of time and money. However, as I grew up into my early twenties, I realized the bits of good that can come from playing them in moderation. I found this article interesting because of the list of games that can be used and outside references for teaching social studies. In the past the main game that I have referenced back to was Minecraft because of how some schools in Ireland use it to teach in every subject. I enjoy getting a chance to broaden my resources to use to help engage students in the subject of social studies that allows them to have a hands-on approach instead of just reading from a text.
    I also feel that this article can be truly relevant to the movement for online schools and homeschooling during the pandemic. From the list of resources I noticed a few games that are not just based on things such as history and events like Assassin’s Creed, however some of those games can be used to socially engage students as well since they are multiplayer, Kings Quest. This allows for students to be engaged with their classmates while learning at the same time. This is something I find to be important with todays current situation as students were forced to be separated from their friends and classmates, there is hope for them to still find that sense of connection in another way while being safely separated.

  33. After seeing simply the title of this article I was intrigued because when I think of video games, I think of games that don’t have any educational purpose, but rather enjoyment of racing cars, shooting zombies, or playing a sports game. As I began to read on, I liked the example of games such as the Oregon Trail, because that is something that I did in grade school on the computer. This article gives me a lot of resources and information on ways that video games can be beneficial for learning. I am glad I you have provided lots of ways to incorporate video games in the classroom, because if possible, when I become a teacher, I would like

  34. Given the current times with the pandemic I feel like considering the value video games could have on the education system would be an incredibly beneficial venture. There are plenty of games that, for example, take place in semi-realistic versions of our world where history is referenced that could be used as points of teaching. A game that comes to mind in particular is Assassin’s Creed. Though not faithful to history, it plays on many history elements. Taking a game like this and making it historically accurate could end up not only teaching kids about history but making them excited about it as well.

  35. I never thought video games would become an essential to learning but I see how important it’s become during the pandemic. There are many ways you can include video games as an educational tool, but I think if you find a couple of games that go with your lesson let the children pick. If you let the children pick which game, then they will be more interested and will be likely to learn more on the game. I was surprised with how many resources they were because again, I never thought we would be using video games for education. I know younger children have learning apps and games they can play games to help them count or learn letters and animals but school agers playing video games to learn never occurred to me. I think more teachers can use this as a way to get their students involved with the lesson because children do love to play games.

  36. In my clinical experience, my class is being taught virtual. I have observed students not logging onto calls and not turning in any of their work. I agree that parents must struggle with having their children getting distracted by their personal belongings and trying to keep them motivated while learning at home. Students who are learning from home can easily be distracted and pulled away from their studies from video games or the tv for example. I have witnessed over the years how the technology push has hit schools. Every child now has a chrome book or iPad. I like how you pointed out that educational video games can play a huge role in the modern day classroom, especially in social studies. Thank you again for sharing your resources at the end of your article, very helpful for future teachers to look back on!

  37. For this entry, I chose this article because I found the topic interesting and therefore though it would be interesting to my future students as well. For me, this was one of your shorter articles that I have read but also one of the ones with the most resources! Over quarantine I purchased a switch and thought this article was very interesting because other than math computer games I haven’t really thought about using video games for other areas of instruction in the classroom and I think this type of interactive learning would be very beneficial to many different students. I liked that not only was there resources explaining how to teach using video games there was also Social Studies themed games provided as well. So far in the classrooms I have been in, we have mostly used technology and games such as Kahoot and interactive PowerPoint tools. Through the resources I looked through I also liked that it mentioned to not only play the games but to also analyze them and reimagine them. Therefore, I am excited to look through more of the resources provided and use video games in my future classroom.

  38. We recently discussed the use of video games and videos in our social studies methods class and I think it is more relevant than ever. Games like Mission US and Oregon Trail as well as videos like the ones from Brain Pop, are interactive and make social studies topics more engaging and interactive to students. I was introduced to Mission Us in the 5th grade and my teacher allowed us to play for small periods at a time under her supervision during class. We then had to discuss what concepts and important talks that came up during our sessions as well as what choices we made and what effect that had in the story. Not only was my teacher having us discuss social studies concepts through this interactive and engaging game, but she also had us the cause and effect relationships that came from the choices we picked in the game. Mission Us covers a wide variety of events in history such as the American Revolution and World War II and it puts you in the shoes of characters living during that time and you have to make decisions that impact the story and ending. This game would be great to implement in my social studies teaching because the students are exploring events from a first-person point of view and learning vocabulary terms and concepts along the way. The site also offers teacher guides to expands the lessons as well. The students in my classroom only come in person two days a week still, so it would be a great resource for them to play at home and have some kind of question or learning guide alongside from them to fill out and follow as they play and we can discuss it when they come back. My classroom teacher has seen a drop in engagement when they are learning at home, so interactive and engaging games like these are a great way to try and fix this problem while also creating some great social studies discussions and lessons to teach.

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