Nowadays, the world is entering the era of rapidly developing technologies that penetrate into major spheres of human activities. The digitalized environment sets new requirements for the specialists, and, thus, it could be stated that the responsibility for the new more qualified professionals is imposed upon the sphere of education. Skilled specialists are in demand among the teachers as well since they have to implement novel methods and devices in the process of teaching to make their students media literate, communicative and creative. Within the framework of the given paper, it seems relevant to address such aspects of the modern educational system as the use of new devices and the gamification of the studying process and their contribution to the students’ abilities. The work argues that the gamification of educational process along with extensive use of such machines as tablets and laptops is obligatory for the development of the necessary skills in potential specialists in various spheres.
As a starting point of the current study, it is necessary to underline that communication, collaboration, media literacy, creativity and critical thinking are the key skills for the 21st century professional. Thus, they need to be developed in students by different means within the frames of the educational programs. The process demands the extensive use of modern technologies as the sources of information and experience of its empirical application. The researcher K. Swan together with colleagues states that the wide implementation of different digital devices and games is the key element essential for the educational system improvement. In addition, it should be mentioned that the use of modern technological devices aims to prepare the students for the demands they will have to meet in their professional activity.
In modern corporations almost all the calculations are done with the help of computer programs and internet resources which means that a student should get used to working with them. Consequently, the advanced mathematics classes follow new programs and practice vast use of laptops and tablets. The researchers provide the data of meta-analysis of eighty-five independent effect sizes involving a total of 36,793 learners. According to their estimations, the employment of computer technologies has appeared to have an extremely positive influence on the student's achievements in math. Another scholar, K. Elis, points out that mentoring combined with the extensive use of computer games that help develop and apply the learners’ skills in practice in the process of empirical learning is one of the most efficient models of studying. The introduction of the program named STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) is vital for the achievement of the new level of media literacy in students of high schools and colleges. Thus, the exact sciences occupy the leading positions within the frames of the modern educational system and allow students test their skills in practice. As a result, in a vast number of schools, the laptops have become an indivisible part of the educational process. Moreover, the implementation of modern technologies and games in the process of studying is addressed by researchers as extremely efficient and promising since the new technologies appear every day, and the specialists should be ready to work with updates on the devices and programs they study at schools, colleges and universities.
Moving on to gamification of the studying process, one should state that it seems to be an effective approach that is turning into a key constituent of the modern educational programs. Students could get tired of writing and reading about the things they can learn in practice; at this point, the elements of game serve as interesting and bright ways to involve all, even the least interested, students into the educational process. The researchers state that gamification of the studying process does not involve full-fledged games but represents a method of motivation cultivation. They add that in some cases teachers use principles typical of design elements of games in studying issues that initially had no game content. Thus, it is important to underline that gamification itself has nothing in common with playing games using their laptops and tablets but rather provides teachers and students with the skills of programming and developing vital features such as critical thinking and creativity.
Interestingly, the use of game elements as parts of the educational programs is a debatable issue that deserves special attention within the current study. It is a well-established fact that children learn things better and faster when the information is provided in the form of a game with the use of different devices. The same system works for college and university students as well but in a modified form. Thus, the games and the elements taken from them are used within the educational process and could serve as an alternative to dull exercises or as a reward provided by a teacher if students cope with basic exercises.
The recent analysis done by the researcher from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center shows that some teachers prefer turning to digital games during the classes as the rewards for the students not as a necessary element of the educational process itself. Such use is an arguable point among the modern scholars with most of them disapproving of it. For example, within the episode of TED Talks, Dan Pink states that by incentivizing the students with a reward, the teacher compromises their studying potential as far as complex operations and exercises are concerned. Pink has founded his claims on the research done by Karl Dunker and pointed out that promised reward narrows the learner’s focus and prevents from the right perception of the material presented in the class. In general, the games used within the educational process should not represent merely time-consuming, distracting elements but rather should be developed and modified to meet the requirements of the digitalized rapidly developing world.
Another researcher speaks about the extrinsic motivation of the learners and points out that gamification motivates the learners to engage deeply in the process of studying. Papa adds that gamification is capable of motivating the whole communities to work in teams. This way it serves as the source of motivation for the teachers and students at the same time allowing the latter to show their strengths and talents while the latter have a chance to engage all the learners on equal terms and raise their own level of communication skills.
To continue, collaborative creation of new programs, sites, short films and pictures with the extensive use of modern technologies contributes to the process of communication among the students. In this case, they learn to work in teams which appears to be highly important for the high-skilled specialists. To support this claim, it seems necessary to address the information provided by the researchers that gamification could be helpful as far as the necessity to develop the skills of collaborative work in students is concerned. In addition, they point out that this form of education shows a high level of efficiency with regard to the distance on-line learning. Thus, gamification should be considered as the future of the modern educational system and the form of studying that contributes to the development of the basic skills necessary for successful work in the well-developed modern companies.
Additionally, the researchers from the Oxford Analytica Group claim that gamification of the education has large number advantages, for example, it provides teachers and their students with certain freedoms – the one to fail, to experiment, to effort and express oneself. These four basic freedoms are of paramount importance for the enhancement of the above-mentioned skills that are in demand in the modern digitalized world. The learners should be prepared for the future career activities that often involve rapidly developing technologies, hereby, they should be ready to deal with the new devices that have not received vast recognition yet or even with those being under development nowadays.
The researchers state that the empirical studies prove that videogames increase the level of dopamine which provokes learning. Thus, the implementation of computer games, video material and extensive involvement of the students into the learning process provided within the frames of gamification represent the new ways of learning things; gamification accelerates the student’s desire to study by suggesting him/her to learn by doing things they like. They also underline that teachers benefit from gamification as well as they involve every student so that no one is left behind because of the lack of knowledge. Therefore, it should be stated that gamification contributes to the process of new types of exercises development. For example, the students should form teams to make a presentation that includes team work, creative and critical thinking, extensive material finding in the Internet and, which is also important, presentation of the material in a suitable form. As a result, gamification appears to be highly efficient, complex phenomenon that helps students cope with the new tasks.
To conclude, it seems relevant to notice that the modern world is developing rapidly, and its technological advancement demands students of different educational institutions to be highly skilled specialists able to work with complex devices and use the programs and methods provided within the gamification phenomenon. Gamification that represents the central point of the current study provides students with four main freedoms (to fail, to express oneself, to experiment and make efforts) that serve as the triggers of the subsequent development of the major skills necessary for the qualified specialists who should be communicative, collaborative, media literate, creative and critical. To draw the final line in the given paper, it is important to underline that the gamification of the educational process along with extensive use of such devices as tablets and laptops is obligatory for the development of the necessary abilities and qualifications in the future professionals in various spheres.
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