As I take a short breather from the growing stack of tests and papers to assess, I want to recommend to the readers of this blog some other excellent resources on the use of games in education. Some of these have recently come to my attention, others I have been following for a while. What they all have in common that they are written by passionate individuals who have realized, and want to share the learning potential that can be found in play.
In his blog Ludic Learning, Canadian teacher Paul Darvasi chronicles in great detail his experiences using the indie-game Gone Home as a literary text in his High School English class. This is probably the most detailed and easy-accessible description of a game-based learning unit that I have come across. The blog can serve as a “how-to” guide for making use of games in the classroom. One major advantage with his approach is that though the unit is extensive, it does not require the teacher to be a “hard-core gamer” to implement.
“This limited-run blog will provide everything a teacher needs to know to duplicate the experience and, hopefully, build on it.”
I agree. I´m strongly considering running a unit based on Paul Darvasi´s ideas with my grade 11 class next year.
The Civilized Classrom is a project run by two teachers at Mediagymnasiet in Sweden, where they use the sequel Civilization IV – Civilization V, learning English and History. Their approach has some similarities to ours, though their focus is to a larger extent on concrete scenarios to examine specific historic events/eras as well as discussing counterfactual history. Both students and teachers blog about their experience making this a rewarding read. This was of particular interest to me, as it offers me new perspectives on how this kind of game can be utilized in the classroom.
This is a site run by David Dogson, an English language teacher in Turkey. He has quite a few exciting ideas on how various games can be made use of in the classroom. I particularly inspired by his reflections on how a gaming session with Tropico 4 engaged his students in utilizing the language and thereby “leveling up” their language skills.
Though his examples primarily relate to language learning, he covers several topics that are relevant to any educator interested in the classroom use of games
Though not himself a teacher, Mathias Poulsen is one of the leading voices in the movement to use games and play for learning in Scandinvia. This Danish entrepreneur promotes a wide array of topics related particularly to the value of play for learning. Poulsen is the best example of a GBL Maven that I have come across. If anybody is doing anything interesting with regards to games in education in Scandinavia, Poulsen probably knows about it.
If you have any other examples of excellence within any area related to the intersection between games and learning I would be happy if you left a comment.