Technology has become a major part of our world over the last decade. With this comes new opportunities to use these different technologies to our advantage in our everyday lives. These opportunities are not without their challenges. In the classroom, cell phones have become a controversial topic because some see it as a distraction from learning while others see it as a tool for learning. There is some truth in both of these statements, but technology has grown so much that the good does outweigh the bad because phones and online games can engage students like never before. All students use technology in their everyday lives and should be taught how to utilize these ever-growing technologies in and out of school. As for teaching history, most history is becoming or already is digitized so now the students have more opportunities to learn how to properly research and find sources about the topics that they are currently learning. There are so many opportunities that we have as teachers to engage students using technology in the classroom and we should seek to use every resource at our disposal. All of that is why phones and games should be used in every classroom as a tool so that we as teachers can best engage our students.
The article “4 Ways to Integrate Smartphones Into Your Classroom” discusses how virtual reality immerses students into the course material. Some teachers can use smartphones others can use video games as visual aids to keep students interested in what some might see as a boring topic. The clip below shows a teacher using the super popular video game Assassins Creed: Odyssey to teach his class about Greek history.
Games are the way of the future, and we have an amazing chance as teachers to use these games as tools in our class to help engage students in historical material that might not seem that interesting on the surface. The article “Game of Thrones and Gaming the History Classroom”, discusses how a teacher uses a game in her classroom to get the students more active in the course material. Even though it is tricky at first, eventually the students catch on and can fully immerse themselves in the material and learn differently than they normally would in a typical history classroom. The clip below is a TED talk from a teacher who uses Minecraft in his classroom to teach material and lessons that might be hard to teach in the classroom the typical way.
The usage of phones and games in schools is the way of the future. I plan to use all of these tools to teach history in my future classroom because the evidence shows that students can get really invested in what a teacher is teaching when they add some technological aspects to the learning process. All of these amazing tools are at my disposal, and I would not be happy with myself if I let a good opportunity like this slip because I want to teach history the way I was taught and not in a completely reshaped way that has developed with the times.
Teaching history in the past has been very much lecture-based as a teacher presents to an audience. From the evidence gathered that is still a useful tool but it should not be the only tool. Cell phones and games are reshaping how we teach history in today’s classroom. Games like Kahoot to help study with your phone or research evidence and sources with a phone for the topic that is being discussed. Video games also provide a chance for history teachers to take students into the world that they are teaching about and allow them to be intrigued by the topic instead of being bored. History can be fun and should be fun, that is why all classrooms should use phones and games to engage the students in the course material and change the way that history is taught today.
Education Week. “4 Ways to Integrate Smartphones Into Your Classroom.” October 16, 2018, sec. Teaching & Learning, Curriculum. https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/opinion-4-ways-to-integrate-smartphones-into-your-classroom/2018/10.
“History Teacher Teaching History with Assassin’s Creed.” Accessed May 8, 2023. https://www.youtube.com/.
Learning through Gaming: Using Minecraft in the Classroom | Joel Levin, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdVLFDfRZUI.
Spalding, Sarah M. “Game of Thrones and Gaming the History Classroom,” n.d.
Using Cellphones in the Classroom, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTo8Rdcukhk.