Conversation starters: Games-based learning opportunities

Hey folks!

Those who have worked with me in the past know I’m a big fan of games-based learning. Nothing in my experience starts conversations with students in the way that games do: critical thought provoking, problem solving, challenge- or creativity-oriented circumstances where students are motivated to interact.

Games such as Pokemon go and Minecraft motivate students to use language in new ways so that they can engage with the content, and they are so motivated to do so they will reach out to others with the language they already have.

I made a little video for my digital literacy blog (Tiny Humans) about the engagement of games-based learning, how I think it fits into the PYP, and my experience using it with language learners. Check it out and let me know what you think about games-based learning in the comments!


2 thoughts on “Conversation starters: Games-based learning opportunities”

  1. Hi Matt,

    This was a really clear discussion of the difference between gamification and game-based learning. While I might not use a game in my DP classrooms, I can use the principles of games-based learning to improve student focus on the rubric so that they can track their progress towards mastery of particular skills.


  2. I had a student in China who was obsessed with Minecraft. He was an EAL student and he had difficulty communicating his thoughts in English. One day, he asked if he could show me how to play Minecraft. I agreed and he made a lot of effort explaining how the game worked to me in English. It was amazing to watch (and listen to) him! I used many other games with him (board games and iPad games) and I found that our interactions were always really rich when it was in the context of a game.

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