With 21st century classrooms full of gadgets and devices, new and innovative ways of harnessing learners are needed. On paper at least it seems that game based learning (GBL) is one of the easiest ways to do just that – but what do schools really think?
With a new evening slot of 18:30 for our latest #frogchat things got underway with a bang. The first tweet highlighted maybe the biggest advantage of GBL – data collation. Everyone involved seemed to agree that the analysis of this data has led to better student assessment, and given teachers the ability to personalise lessons even more.
Some of the other interesting comments made were around the engagement of students, with one tweet saying ‘How can a plain static PowerPoint compete with X-Box or Playstation game?’This seemed a driving force for teachers, almost a fight back against games consoles to make education just as engaging and interactive, but beneficial at the same time.
The talk of games consoles lead to the question ‘Does GBL have to be computer based?’ with examples of Monopoly, dice games and card games all providing the same skills as those where computers are involved. The big problem with non computer based activities though is the lack of reusable data provided.
From listening to those involved in #frogchat, it seems there is a very positive vibe around GBL, with lots of discussions around incorporating existing games, for example using Bowsers Castle for Creative Writing into English lessons. Another good example of this shared by one school, was how they’d used Mario Kart in a Maths lesson to teach students how to work out which was the longest track by using average speeds. Even games like Angry Birds have a GBL element to them.
What came through in this #frogchat is that GBL is something that schools need to embrace rather than avoid. With classrooms getting bigger it’s becoming increasingly difficult to personalise every lesson for everyone, GBL though might just be the ticket to help teachers achieve just that.