It’s no surprise that Fortnite has been an explosive hit. It’s been reported that over 40 million people around the world log in and play Fortnite each month. You have probably even caught a student playing Fortnite on their mobile phone during class or even doing Fortnite dances in the hallway. Although Fortnite culture has infested education, educators shouldn’t brush off the positive effects that playing video games can have.
How can Fortnite and other video games be used in education?
Benefits of playing video games
Playing video games has shown to have many positive effects on players including improving spatial-intelligence skills, enhancing decision-making while under pressure, and helping students develop short and long-term strategies. Video games not only teach players problem-solving, but they also teach them persistence and teamwork, two things that little league traditionally tried to instill in children.
These benefits are great, but how are they related to education? Many games that have been developed specifically for education, such as Brain Age for the Nintendo DS, can come off as boring for students. However, traditional video games, that is, video games where the primary purpose is not educational, have shown to be useful in the classroom, too. For example, Everquest, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), is an online game set in a fictional world where you can learn spells, complete quests, and communicate with other human players. At least one study has used the game to help teach English to ESL students with positive effects. In this specific study, students not only used the target language, but they were very motivated while doing so. And as we all know, motivation can have a positive effect on student performance.
So, what can educators do?
Fortnite is very popular with students, can build skills such as teamwork and communication, and is motivating to students. The Battle Royale mode of Fortnite is free with micro-transactions for cosmetics. It can also be played on computers, home consoles, and iPhones, so the game is pretty much everywhere. However, educators don’t have to have kids playing the actual game in class to incorporate it into the curriculum. The real question is: how do we incorporate Fortnite into education? I’d like to know what you’re doing and what your students think about it. Let me know in the comments.
What to read next:
If you are interested in using video games in education, you should read about gamification in learning.