Integrating game based learning is something that I have struggled with this year. While I have integrated Quizziz, Quizlet, and Kahoot!, I feel like those do not really count as game based learning. While game based learning is simply described as an approach to teaching where students use games to explore relevant topics (“What is GBL?”), it seems like it should be much more than simple definition matching. Most teachers in my building use GBL only for test reviews. Game based learning can be so much more than that. Game based learning includes both games and interactives that can be used in the classroom.
One reason I have struggled with this is because I have trouble finding games that fit in my high school English curriculum. Most of the games I found on the list worked well for grade school level learners. It was only once I changed my mindset that I was able to see how some of the games would fit in my curriculum. For example, I found a great game called Pandemic. This is not a game one associates with high school English; however, it hits on a number of other important skills that can transfer to my classroom. Students work in teams to solve a problem. This is not unlike trying to analyze a character or discover a theme. They all require collaboration and cooperation. The game teaches those very important skills.
Another example is Popplet. While Popplet may not be the game many are thinking, it can be used to work collaboratively to solve a problem. In the end, that is exactly what an online game does. It is no different with Popplet. Although, instead of saving the world from a deadly virus, they are exploring a theme in To Kill a Mockingbird. I find the skills of team work and cooperation are necessary for both.
Integrating game based learning is something that I have scoffed at for years; however, I am starting to realize the value of the games and interactives in the classroom curriculum. I realize that there are many lessons taught in game based learning that can transfer to every day life skills.
“Game-Based Learning: Resource Roundup.” Edutopia. N.p., 11 July 2011. Web. 13 Mar. 2016.
“Small, Safe Steps for Introducing Games to the Classroom.” Edutopia. N.p., 08 Oct. 2014. Web. 13 Mar. 2016.
“What Is GBL (Game-Based Learning)?” EdTechReview. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2016.