Game based learning : WHY should we do it ?
Gone are the days when games are played solely for entertainment purposes. In 21st century learning environments , games are explored in unconventional ways and are used to engage (not enrage) and empower students .
According to Alan Gershenfeld, game-based learning promotes critical thinking , questioning, self directed learning , creativity, problem solving, non linear thinking and even language arts skills through creative story telling.
In Mr. Claro’s classroom in Thailand, they use GAMESTAR MECHANIC (for 4th grade) and KODU (for 5th grade up) . In his class, gaming has supported cross curriculum applications and the school ESLRs. It has also promoted system thinking and 21st century learning.
Gamestar mechanic allows students to participate in fun , game based quest and courses to help them learn how to design and create their own video games. As teachers , we too can design games in relation to our lessons! We can use this in any subject. The facilitator gave us many resources for game-based learning including lesson plans, design tips, rubrics and more which you will find a link to at the end of this entry.
We didn't have enough time to get in depth on KODU but from what I understood, it provides students with a visual programming language made specifically for creating games. . The program is designed to be child friendly and enjoyable for anyone. We got to try it out for a short while and I enjoyed it ! It wasn't the easiest thing to do but it did open my mind to a lot of new gaming possibilities in class!
Teacher Resources for Gaming