Civilization 4 in the Upper Secondary School Classroom

Next term, my colleague Vegard Relling and myself are planning a series of lessons where we will be using the computer game Civilization IV as an educational tool at Nordahl Grieg Secondary School in Bergen, Norway.

We believe that computer games are an undervalued resource in education that, when used in an educational context, may be a huge asset to students’ learning. On this blog we will detail our experiences in using this game as an educational tool in the subjects Social Science, English and Norwegian. 

We are still in the early phases of planning, but over the next few months we will post updates on our progress in putting these lesson plans together, thoughts about why games (and CIV IV in particular) should make their way into classrooms, and pedagogical and technical  challenges we come across along the way. Once we get started playing the game with our students in October/November, we plan quite frequent posts from the perspective of both students and teachers. 

Over the last couple of years, some enterprising teachers and schools have made tentative strides towards integrating computer games in education, although, at least in the Norwegian school system,  game-based learning is far from common. We believe there are many teachers out there, both in Norway and abroad, who have already used, or are interested in using, games in their lessons. It is our goal that this blog may serve as an inspiration to other educators who want to experiment with using games in education.


About teacheraleks

Teacher, and Games and Learning Specialist at Nordahl Grieg Upper Secondary School in Bergen, Norway.
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5 Responses to Civilization 4 in the Upper Secondary School Classroom

  1. Godt initiativ. Men hvorfor har valget falt på akkurat Civ IV? Civ 5 har jo vært på markedet en stund nå

    • teacheraleks says:

      Flere grunner.
      1. CivIV var den versjonen vi kjente best til fra før. Det var et mål at vi ikke måtte behøve å bruke for mange timer på å sette oss inn i et nytt spill.
      2. Pris.
      3. Usikkerhet rundt systemkrav, og systemspesifikasjoner på PCene VG1 elevene får utdelt neste år.

  2. Shawn says:

    I wish you the best of luck, and I look forward to hearing more about your experiences. I’ve experimented with CIV IV at the first and second year undergraduate university level in Canada, which you might find useful as you design your own work:

    …and I would heartily recommend all the posts about Civ IV at Play the Past. I’m of the opinion these days that the best use of CIV IV in teaching is to have the students build scenarios/mods themselves.

    Best wishes,

    • teacheraleks says:

      Thank you for your input Shawn.

      I read about the Vespasian mod a couple of months ago when doing research for this project, but I haven’t read your evaluation. Very useful insights!

      Though having students create their own mods seems like a good idea, we probably will not spend much time on this this time around. We expect the students will spend a considerable amount of time learning game concepts. Spending additional time learning to create mods seems hard to justify. However, if all goes well, we will continue this project with the same students in Grade 12 History next year. Student modding sounds like an idea well worth visiting then.

      I look forward to sharing our experiences once we get this project properly off the ground.

  3. Pingback: Using computer games to teach

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