Oh, if we could engage students in learning the way we can be engaged in games! Our school landscape would totally change!
Introducing game based learning in classes certainly enhances the level of engagement in class.
We all know how much learning happens on the playground and how engaging play can be. We have also all witnessed the effects of simple games in classroom. Why not to bring the playground to class for real?
Tic Tac Boum by vchagas
Many teachers treat games as review or practice activities, but they’re rarely the main focus of the learning experience. Perhaps it’s because we underestimate the power of learning through games and have concerns about management.
If teachers worry about classroom chaos, I suggest that teachers take a look at Classroom management with Game Based Learning. If you wonder about the effectiveness of playing games. I would invite you to do two things.
1) Go to your ES playground and watch learning in action.
2) Play games yourself; record yourself and your screen.
You will realize as I did that with game based learning, students…
- work both independently and collaboratively
- are engaged and focused on the activities
- are the heroes of the learning process
- work at individual paces
- work relentlessly to achieve (learning) goals/targets
- learn through doing
- Receive constant feedback
- practice and learn in and outside classroom walls
They will certainly be developing their individual capacity of…
- problem solving
- and being resilient
Introducing game based learning brings all these benefits, but why not step it up a notch and Gamify our classes?
Reason # 1: To maximize the benefits mentioned above
Reason # 2: To capitalize on gaming culture
But how to make game-based learning a integrant part of our classes?
The advice that always stands out is to start small. A game, an activity, a lesson, a unit. Do whatever feels comfortable to you but the most important is to weave together games, clear learning targets and standards.
Learning with and through games can only equate to learning if they’re embedded in purpose.
For many, educational learning tools such as Kahoot and Quizlet Live are a first (baby) step. They can always engage students, as you already probably know. Most students enjoy revising and learning whatever we deem significant through these common classroom tools.
If you are a language teacher, use Boggle, Scrabble and other board and card games to practice and develop vocabulary and other skills, as many of us do.
Shop for educational games online and in stores or adapt games that you particularly like. Amongst my favorite, if you teach French, I’d suggest…
Tic Tac Boum
I have used adapted versions of many games seen in kids’ stores and online platforms such as Les Zexperts and have my students create our own games. It always enhances student engagement
I have done all of the above and now I am ready to try more. To go beyond the activity level. I want to experiment with and experience gamifying a class or a unit.
So far, my idea is to create a whole lesson as a game. I am thinking a scavenger hunt/whole play throughout school. I know it’s not the most original idea, but as in any other game, each person learns at their own pace. This is mine.
More to follow!