Game-Based Learning: Let Our Students Play!

“As educators, we sometimes feel like we’re losing a battle. We try to compete with all of the exciting and new activities and technology our students engage with outside of the classroom. Our content at times can feel boring, stale, and out-dated to our students. Games can change that. They may not be the answer every time, but in many ways they can help educators engage their students in the skills and content they need to succeed in life. As schools become more connected with new technology the question becomes, why aren’t we using games? Games can promote literacy. Games can encourage critical thinking and problem solving. Games can bridge the gap between students with disabilities and the required content of the class. Whether the game is based in technology or not, doesn’t matter. We need to allow our students access to our content in a variety of ways.”

That’s just a taste of what I’ve put together for my next assignment, a VoiceThread on Game-Based Learning. When I started the assignment, I thought I knew pretty much everything about Game-Based Learning. Students play games to learn stuff. Well, it’s not as simple as that. A lot of people have put a lot of thought into the theory and concept of Game-Based Learning. Please check out my VoiceThread for more information and some examples of games you can use in your classroom.

Here’s a link to my Diigo outline for the assignment too! There is a lot more information in my outline; I never could have used it all!

What kind of games do your students play in your classroom?

Storybird.com: How to create stories on the web!

Have you ever been to Storybird.com? It’s amazing! It’s an online tool that assists in the creation of stories. It’s great for educators, and in the screen-cast and sample assignment below, I outline how someone might use this website in the classroom. I decided that it would be a great idea to use this website for the narrative assignments that I use every year in my classroom. The assignment I focused on in both the screen-cast and the student sample is an assignment called “Time Lapse Narrative.” It is aligned with both HCPSS Reflections: Past to Present unit, and is aligned with Maryland Common Core Standard W3 for 9th and 10 grades. Even though I created the screen-cast for teachers, and would use it in a PD or meeting, I could also show it to my students. I clearly shows them what I see as an educator, so no funny business, and the basics on how to use the website. I hope you enjoy my screen-cast and student sample!!!

My screencast on storybird.com

My completed student sample