Kids and games, two words that go hand in hand. Learning and games may not sound as synonymous. With the increased student engagement and complex thought processes that accompany game-based learning, they should be. Let these questions help in determining whether or not game-based learning is the right fit or you and your students:
- Can you accept learning outcomes that don’t have a pencil and paper product?
- Can students benefit from working at their own pace?
- Can learning be entertaining?
- Can exercises in logic and complex thought processes benefit your curriculum?
- If you answered yes to any of the questions above, it’s time to introduce game-based learning. You can utilize the resources below to build or refresh your game-based learning repertoire.
Preparation & Justification
First Steps – This entry in Mindshift’s series on gaming offers five must-do steps for bringing gaming to the classroom. From assessing your pool of device resources to giving the selected game a thorough preview, these steps need to hit the to-do list for teachers introducing gaming. Teachers need to encounter the nuances of a game before presenting it to students, and this list adds that to the gaming queue.
Rolling It Out – These 9 top tactics from Global Digital Citizen help with the organization and mindset when introducing gaming. The idea that teachers need to be all in and stand firm on the benefits of gaming is of the utmost importance. Sending home parent letters and carving out the ground rules are just a couple of the pieces of advice that this GDC article offers to help teachers prepare.
All Things Gaming – This resource roundup from Edutopia shares all of their articles, videos, and resources relating to gaming in the classroom. Whether you’re looking for game ideas or searching for more insight on the effectiveness of game-based learning, this is a great resource. With a lot of in-site links and additional web resources, this one is worthy of a bookmark for teachers beginning to explore the topic.
Games for the Classroom
Any game that is presented to students needs to be thoroughly vetted by teachers to ensure it’s the right fit for the content and audience. These 4 options are a few good ones to download and start navigating for the selection process.
- Mission US – Users are able to travel to four different time periods in American history via these interactive games. There are many teacher resources available and the free price tag can’t be beat.
- Minecraft – As a top game for at-home play, Minecraft can easily transition to an at-school favorite too. With a wealth of educational possibilities, working Minecraft into the curriculum can be done with ease, and its popularity has prompted the creation of multiple companion sites for teachers (g., MinecraftEdu) that offer resources and ready-to-use worlds engineered by other educators.
- Papers, Please – This strategy game for more mature users explores political themes in a dystopian society. As the game unfolds, the connections between work, family, and government all intertwine and have users weighing all angles as they make life-changing decisions for themselves and others.
- Door 24 – Add a little intrigue to mathematics as users work through multiple levels and sets of problems to fix a robot’s circuits and reveal the mystery behind Door 24. Students hone their skills in computational fluency as they practice accuracy, efficiency, and flexibility surrounding the number 24.
The introduction of game-based learning can boost student engagement and allow a new medium to increase students’ learning potential. Finding the right game that peaks student interest and meets your curricular needs can capture student interest and add a renewed energy to the classroom. Let this resource collection be the bookmark that takes you there.
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