The Educator's PLN

The personal learning network for educators



An interwebz mate asked me for my thoughts on video games and education.

More specifically, he wanted to know whether video games really work in the classroom, from a pedagogical point of view. I responded very pedagogically that HELLYEAH!!

See, I specialize in ESL, and the video games I use in class are RPGs of the "kill-destroy-maim" variety (Halo 3, Fable, GTA, Zelda etc...)

Now, you may be thinking: That's just stupid! The ratio of "learning x carnage" in violent RPGs isn't even close to being proportional!

And you're right, so I encourage my students to play them at home. They're gonna play them anyway, so I might as well teach them to focus on the multiplayer aspect of the games, which does provide some practice in authentic language.
But, there are also RPGs inclined towards strategy (Sims, Civilization, Age of Empires, World of Warcraft etc...)
These are another story. I can hook the PS/X-Box up to the projector in class, and we can discuss the strategy as a group, then write about the outcomes, focusing on whatever grammar topic I'm teaching that week.

Gaming in class also provides a good foundation for project-based lessons. This is especially useful in ESL because projects will frequently extend over more than a day's work, and if you can get the students to integrate what they're doing at school with their lives out of the school, it just oomphs their learning curve.

So, the strategy ones work well, but still, they aren't reeeally about teaching school subjects. We just use them to decorate the process. Games from the Carmen Sandiego series are a lot closer to traditional ESL practice because of their focus on reading skills and travel, which I can then use to develop listening, writing, speaking, and grammar activities.

In the end, how useful the games are in class boils down to how the teacher uses them. They're just tools that we adapt. They weren't designed to teach.

But, I believe they should be.

So much so, that I developed the prototype of an RPG that teaches ESL specifically. You can watch my TEDx talk on how it works here.

It's all about injecting fun into education... funnifying it, as it were.

So, how do you funnify your surroundings?

Views: 86

Comment

You need to be a member of The Educator's PLN to add comments!

Join The Educator's PLN

About

Thomas Whitby created this Ning Network.

Latest Activity

Kathy Huntley posted a blog post

Alcohol dependence

Alcohol dependence has become an epidemic in the 21st century. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2.45 % of men and 5.78% of women consume alcohol daily. Every year, alcohol misuse causes the deaths of 2.5 million people. The problem of alcoholism is getting commonsense, and that is scary. Almost everyone has an experience of dealing with people who suffer from alcohol misuse. The following research will show signs of the addiction and methods of its treatment…See More
Saturday
Profile IconRachelle Fender, Kelly Leon, Rosie Del Tejo Williamson and 7 more joined The Educator's PLN
Saturday
Thomas Whitby's 2 videos were featured
Saturday
Thomas Whitby posted videos
Saturday
Christine Hinkley posted an event

OLC Collaborate - Oregon at Oregon State University

February 7, 2020 all day
The Online Learning Consortium and partner institution Oregon State University invite you to engage in Vision 2030: Re-imagining the Future of Online Education. Join us as we explore our shared responsibility as educators to meet our diverse and changing student populations where they are, and to…See More
Nov 4
Lindsey Sise liked Lori Callister's group STEM Education
Oct 30
Rosie Del Tejo Williamson liked Shelly Terrell's group Edchat
Oct 29
John Maker replied to Daren Pickering's discussion Education Business Expert Required by LJ Create in New York
"Do you have your own business? If yes can you share some experience about how did you create it? I also want to start my online project. It will be sport betting service with professional software from Betinvest company…"
Oct 25

© 2019   Created by Thomas Whitby.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service