DISPLAYING ITEMS BY TAG: GAMES BASED LEARNING

The Minecraft Music Project began simply. The majority of my students in grades PS-8 love Minecraft, and I want them to enjoy learning, as well as gain mastery of the nuts and bolts of music. This prompted the question: How can I integrate Minecraft into the Music curriculum to successfully reach the most students?

Gamification is essentially about turning all manner of activities into games or competitive activities. Teachers routinely make learning into a game to motivate and interest their students, and so I thought that it might be interesting to take this to the next step and use it with members of staff.

Game based learning (GBL) can be used in various ways, from assessment to guided practice. There are so many methods for implementing the use of GBL. Cards can be used and so can board games. Some teachers have even used video game systems, which are a great way to hook students into the lesson. Imagine students coming into the classroom to see an Xbox or a PlayStation ready.

In the business world, gamification has become something of a buzzword. The idea is to take elements from digital games and add it to enhance a customer’s experience. In consumer websites and mobile applications, this can mean digital badges, leaderboards to track scores, levels to unlock, and other reward mechanisms.

Teachers have used phonics as a method for teaching reading since Victorian times! Look at a photo of a Victorian classroom and you will see rows of children being taught to sound out letters to make words such as ‘cat’. Move forward to the 21st century and you still see children sounding out phonemes (sounds) and blending them to read (or the reverse - segmenting the phonemes and turning them into graphemes to spell).

Academics from the University of Leicester have been working with local Primary schools to research and develop pupils’ understanding of the law. Law in Children’s Lives is being touted as the first research project of its kind, and aims to explore children’s “understanding and opinions on issues such as gender equality, bullying, consumer rights and duty of care”. Researchers hope to use results to influence government policy in these areas.

Games have long been included in childhood educational techniques, as a means to enhance and expand upon more traditional methods. With the advancement of modern technology, the scope of educational gaming has increased to make room for additional platforms such as PCs, laptops, tablets and even mobile phones.

Children in school grow emotionally, as well as physically and intellectually. A child’s ability to understand his or her own individual emotional growth is formally known as Social Emotional Learning (SEL). The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) defines this competency as “the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”

The fatal mistake schools make when deploying mobile technology is thinking that by purchasing the hardware, that’s the hard part done. In fact, the easiest step in a school’s iPad journey is buying the technology; the successful use of the technology is determined by what schools do after this.

It’s likely that the majority of British school pupils play video games. From smartphones to games consoles, there are a lot of games available to them. Here, teacher-in-training and gamer Matthew Banfield explores the possibilities that the incredibly popular Minecraft presents to schools.

Working in education, you have most likely heard of Minecraft. This game has captured a generation, giving people who play the game an unlimited space to explore and express themselves. The game may well have taken over your classroom through the huge amount of merchandise available, from pencil cases to books.

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