Learning and education is a continued part of our life journey. For kids, parents and teachers strive to make it fun and challenging. Learning games fits into the area of neuroscience and education as game-based-learning grows in popularity not just in education but in health and business. Psychologists and educationalists understand more about learning games in brain cognition and neuroscience to enhance child and adult learning.
The meaning of “learning” or “knowing” is shifting away from being able to recall and repeat information to being able to find it, evaluate it and use it compellingly at the right time and in the right context. Education and schooling still tends to focus on the acquisition of basic skills and content knowledge, like reading, writing, calculation, history or science. Many experts believe that career and life success today and into the future will depend on education or learning that treats higher order intellectual skills, like the ability to think, solve complex problems or interact deeper through language and media.
Games and brain training games fit naturally in supporting this form of education and life skills. Learning games for the brain are designed to create a compelling platform that challenges the brain , where users come to learn and understand through self-directed exploration. They are constructed to deliver personalized learning and to use data to help players understand how they are doing, what they need to work on and where to go next. Learning games create a compelling need to know, a need to ask, examine, assimilate and master certain skills and content areas. Psychologists and education experts argue that brain games are, first and foremost, learning systems with real world benefits and that this accounts for the sense of engagement and entertainment players experience.
Brain games have also other attributes that facilitate learning. One of these is the state of being known as play. Much of the activity of play consists in failing to reach the goal established by a game’s rules. And yet players rarely experience this failure as an obstacle to trying again and again, as they work harder towards mastery and in so making the brain fitter. There is something in playing brain games that activates the tenacity and persistence required for effective learning.
Learning games to improve brain power has three key moments with important implications for learning whether at home or in the classroom. The first is when a would-be player approaches a game and expresses a wish to participate: “Can I give it a try? Or Can I join in?” The second moment comes when a player asks, “Can I save it?” In other words, “I am going to engage or invest time in this experience, which has personal value and meaning, and I’d like to pick up where I left off.” The third moment comes when a player attains a level of mastery in the game where a test or report can be shown the achievement.
Science and academic research is reporting that brain based game learning could be the Holy Grail in the quest to keep kids in school and on track to reach their true intellectual ability. Brain games are already widely used by teachers, parents, schools, business and other institutions with an interest in learning. Brain training games can function as doorways into content areas, introductions into specific skill sets and/or nodes in larger knowledge networks. But there is nothing new here; games and learning have enjoyed an association long before the dawn of the digital age. Learning games for the brain represents an exciting and limitless activity within the larger, highly engaging learning system that surrounds us all.