Since early childhood, games are the best way children learn to adapt to their environment, to establish relationships, to find their roles in family and society. Past generations used to play games that were not related to technology, but the “digital native” generation has had that opportunity. They have grown surrounded by technology; they are natural experts in dealing with technological tools. Therefore, education should integrate those abilities so that they do not get involved in unrealistic learning contexts.
About this important issue, Prensky (2009) affirms that current learners have changed drastically and that they need different kinds of motivational strategies from the ones used in the past when technology was not around. Our present learners have spent a lot of time of their lives sitting in front of a computer or console playing games and therefore dealing with technology, sometimes even more than educators have. As a result, educational programs should involve digital games to catch their attention in a more meaningful and contextualized manner.
Digital games characteristics such as immediate feedback and outcomes which turn into learning, enjoyment, pleasure, creativity in problem solving, etc., make them the ideal strategy to engage students in actual learning. Thus, people involved in education should consider making digital games part of the curriculum, given that current educational programs have been designed for students with different characteristics from the ones we have at the moment (Idem).
In my personal setting working with young learners, games are an essential component of my lesson plans. However, I should integrate more technology so as to make them more appealing and meaningful to my students.
Prensky, Marc (2001) Why Games Engage US. Retrieved from
Prensky, Mark. (2009). Digital Game-Based Learning, Paragon House.