Chromebook Gaming Causes Classroom Problems

Students like to play online games, but when they play during class time, it causes disruption of learning.

At Dunbar, every student has a Chromebook to use in class, and although access to technology is important, sometimes students use the internet as a distraction–especially by playing computer games. There are filters that restrict many, but not all, gaming sites.

“I don’t really believe that banning all games is necessary, and quite frankly I don’t think it would really solve the issue,” English teacher Ms. Amanda Holt said. “Students will always find a way around filters—you all are smart.”

This is Ms. Holt’s 10th year teaching at Dunbar, and although she doesn’t believe banning games is necessary, she said that she still runs into some problems with them. 

“One thing I find frustrating about games is that even the best students miss instruction, thinking they can just catch up or teach themselves on their own when they finish a round or level,” she said. “And when they realize they actually do need help, they ask me to basically repeat my lesson just for them because they were distracted the first time. It’s exhausting as an instructor.”

Games can be distracting, but they also have some positive advantages such as stimulating creativity, focus, and visual memory which, if used appropriately, can improve student performance in the classroom.

Playing games can also help students relieve stress between lessons.

“Once you’re finished with work then you could play those video games,” senior Alanie Clark said. 

Ms. Holt said that she understands that students enjoy games and that there are ways to harness that engagement in lessons.

“I think there can be ways to use them for instruction to increase student engagement,” she said, “but this can’t be the expectation all the time–especially given the amount of time it takes teachers to develop new lessons.”  

Kahoot! is an online game-based learning platform that allows teachers to test their knowledge and helps them retain information. 

Ms. Holt said that Kahoot and other quiz games are good tools for review and study, but that students should be present for learning in class during instruction.