Online educational games have been gaining popularity in recent years, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced many schools to transition to remote learning. But what exactly are online educational games, and why are they so effective? To answer these questions, we spoke with Dan White, the CEO of Filament Games, a leading educational game developer that has worked with some of the biggest names in education, including Amazon, Scholastic, and the US Department of Education.
According to Dan White, online educational games are games that are specifically designed to teach or reinforce a particular concept or skill. They can be targeted at any age group, from preschoolers to adults, and can cover a wide range of subjects, including science, social studies, and language arts.
One of the key benefits of online educational games is that they can make learning fun. "Games have a unique ability to engage players in a way that traditional classroom instruction simply can't," says Dan White. "By tapping into the player's natural curiosity, we can create experiences that are both entertaining and educational."
But online educational games are much more than just a source of entertainment. They can also improve a range of skills, from problem-solving and critical thinking to collaboration and communication. "Games can provide a safe and low-stakes environment for players to practice and develop skills that are relevant to real-world situations," says Dan White.
Another advantage of online educational games is that they can be tailored to each individual learner's needs and abilities. "One of the great things about games is that they can adapt to the player's performance," explains Dan White. "If a player is struggling with a particular concept or skill, the game can adjust the difficulty level or provide additional support to help the player succeed."
While online educational games are not a substitute for traditional classroom instruction, they can be a valuable tool for teachers and students alike. "Games can be used to supplement classroom instruction and provide students with an additional opportunity to practice and reinforce what they are learning," says Dan White.
In conclusion, online educational games have the potential to revolutionize the way we learn and teach. By making learning fun, improving a range of skills, and providing tailored instruction, they can help students achieve better outcomes and develop a lifelong love of learning.
Dan White believes that good gameplay and good learning are complementary rather than oppositional forces. An alumnus of Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Dan earned an M.S. in Education Technology under seminal learning game scholars Drs. Kurt Squire and James Paul Gee. Prior to founding Filament, Dan worked as a teacher, an instructional designer, and a game developer. Dan’s passions include learning games, sustainability, mindfulness, and modernizing institutional education.