Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Creating Games for learning

Mr. Michael Geiger at George Watkins Elementary School has discovered an interest in creating games that will help his students learn math. He asked me to investigate and it took me a while to understand what he had in mind. Other teachers recently expressed an interest in the subject, after a recent meeting at George Watkins. The idea of the teachers creating subject-specific games is a great one. The game can be individualized for the class and the SOL. One caution, it can be a time consuming (and addictive) activity.

What would make it even better is to get the students in on the fun.Creating digital games is a great way to get students thinking and engaged. Perhaps they could create a game to illustrate a learning goal. They could extend that learning by letting others play the game and collect feedback. (Of course teachers would have to pre-teach acceptable forms of feedback.).

I am most familiar with Scratch as an animation/game creator. This program is free from MIT and encourages programming, critical, and systems thinking. Another very popular game development tool is Gamestar Mechanic. Both of these resources have tutorials and guides for educators and students. Common Sense Media also likes Sploder for game creation.

If this list is not enough for game design check out this! of Game Making and Learning and a wiki of Game Building tools from Magical

For those of you interested in learning more about the value of games in learning I encourage you to explore this! collection of articles on the subject:

Happy Gaming and remember I can help!

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