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.
Anyone who has worked with Early Years Foundation Stage will understand the importance of learning through play. Play-based learning is encouraged in primary schools and included on the curriculum, and parents use play as a means of teaching children when they are young. However are we missing a trick by completely eliminating play from lessons for older pupils? There will certainly be times when a traditional teaching approach is called for (when preparing for exams for example), but would our students show greater engagement, a deeper understanding of concepts, creativity and resilience if we also tried to embed new pedagogical techniques with them?
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).
Gaming seems to be more popular than ever. As a child of the late Seventies, just BEFORE Space Invaders, video gaming has become a phenomena since the turn of this century. Even as some were worrying about the Millennium Bug, others could not have been more immersed in computing. 2000 saw Sony launch the PlayStation 2 for a staggering $299.99 (£150); with a built-in DVD player and back compatibility with PS1 games; every one of the 500,000 consoles produced sold out on Day 1. Following this, the only bug associated with computers was the sweeping-craze for gaming. 2008 saw the first ‘Video-game Tournaments’, as video-games became a fast-growing spectator sport with big tournaments like Unreal (held at Wembley Stadium) and the Championship Gaming Series (USA). Now eSports tournaments like the MLG have millions of registers users, with winners gaining millions of dollars for one video-game.
The kids we teach in our classrooms today are undoubtedly ‘digital natives’. Born in an age of established technology, the latest generation of students have grown up with clever gadgets and devices, leading to today’s youth having an unrivalled passion and understanding for the digital world. Research suggests that three quarters of children now use the internet at home, and nearly all use it at school, with around 41 percent of 9 to 19 year olds having access to the web each and every day. At a time when the traditional textbook is being phased out in favour of technology, it’s time for teachers to adapt their methods of delivering information to meet the contemporary needs of children growing up in the digital age.
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.”
My name is Ira Cross, Jr. and I am an elementary school teacher in Columbus, Ohio in the U.S. I am ecstatic to have recently finished my first year of teaching! I am very humbled and excited to have the opportunity to write this article, and have been told I have this fiery energy about me that fits teaching so perfectly, and it is rewarding when my excitement is noticed. I am always looking for, and thinking of, ways to show my passion and enthusiasm. One way that I love to share this energy with my students is by hosting game shows and other activities to review information taught and discussed.
How can teachers use games to teach complex issues? New Jersey social studies teacher Matthew Farber discusses how the latest games can be used to help students learn about the principles of ethics.
Game designers use cause and effect loops to reward players when they advance in a game. Conversely, penalties exist if a task is a mission is failed. For example, when Batman defeats thugs in an Arkham game, the player -- who takes agency over the character -- may earn a digital badge or a power up. The “fail state” is a setback penalty to the most recent save point. Designers use causal loops with the intention of affecting player behavior; intrinsic satisfaction is typically rewarded right away. Of course, decisions in real life are much harder to define.
Games based learning is an area that offers education fascinating possibilities, and different methods are explored daily. However, are certain games, such as Candy Crush, based on a format too addictive to be used in schools? ReadingWise writer Dave Waddell discusses the matter, and considers how games can be used for promoting literacy.
The relative virtual popularity of Dana Smith’s This is what Candy Crush does to your brain - recently posted on the Guardian’s online Notes and Theories science desk – may mean one or two things: either people are genuinely interested in the idea that it is, as Smith says, a by-design addictive game; or any article with the words ‘candy’ and ‘crush’ in its title is certain to get a degree of misdirected traffic.
If you find that your children are struggling to have ideas when planning a story, try this simple and very effective technique. Show them a picture or a sentence and play the coin flip game. Invite the children to ask yes-no questions about the picture or sentence stimulus. Emphasise that the questions have to be sensible and relevant. After each question, flip a coin – heads means yes and tails means no.
The technique is more elegant and sophisticated than it appears. A yes answer means that the children have a definite piece of information that can be incorporated into the story and which can form the basis for further questions. A no answer means that the children have to come up with another idea: there is a ‘positive pressure’ for children to keep thinking.