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Games for learning

Why are students prepared to fail with games and not with school?

Why are students prepared to fail with games and not with school?

In this blog Sue McDowall explores the perplexing question of why students are prepared to tolerate failure when playing games but not at school.

By Sue McDowall

One of the teachers in the Games for Learning project described a conversation she had with the students in her class about how they might transfer into their school work the resilience and perseverance they showed when failing during gaming:

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What motivates game-using teachers? Episode 4

Blog post: What motivates game-using teachers? Episode 4

In today’s post, we’ll meet two "enthusiastic explorers": Diana-Grace, who teaches Year 7 and 8, and Jesse, who teaches design at a secondary school. They may not be experts on games and gaming, but that doesn’t stop them from encouraging and supporting their students to dive deeply into games and game design in the classroom. 

By Rachel Bolstad

Some of the Games for learning teachers could be described as “enthusiastic explorers”. Like the play-based learning advocates, they may not be experts on games and gaming, but that doesn’t stop them from encouraging and supporting their students to dive into games and game design in the classroom.  In today’s post, we’ll meet Diana-Grace, who teaches Year 7 and 8, and Jesse, who teaches design at a secondary school. 

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What makes learning through games so engaging? - written by Sue McDowall

What makes learning through games so engaging?

In this blog Sue McDowall takes a look inside games as an engaging learning environment from the point of view of players and wonders about how we might harness that sort of motivation for other types of learning in our classrooms.

One of the questions that we, and the teachers we work with on the Games for learning project, are fascinated by, is what makes games so engaging. As one teacher observed, “Something happens when students start playing games and I want to understand what that is.” Game designers know what makes digital games engaging and there is a tonne of literature on how games are designed to hook in and motivate players.

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What motivates game-using teachers? Episode 3

Blog post: What motivates game-using teachers? Episode 3

Not all Games for learning teachers started out as gamers.  In today’s blog, we’ll meet Leanne and Caro, two primary teachers whose predispositions towards following learners’ interests, and valuing play-based learning, led them to support games and game creation with their students.

By Rachel Bolstad

Not all Games for learning teachers started out as gamers.  Today we're going to look at another trajectory followed by some of the game-using teachers in our study: The play-based learning advocates. 

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What motivates game-using teachers? Episode 2

Blog post: What motivates game-using teachers? Episode 2

In today's blog we’ll meet a trio of gamer teachers, Pete, Justin, and Jeremy, who bring gaming into their secondary school through two co-curricular programmes. 

By Rachel Bolstad

In my last blogpost, I talked about the different motivations and pathways that have led teachers to bring game-based learning into their practice. Some of the teachers in our project self-identified as "gamers", and this was a big part of their motivation to bring games into their teaching. We have already met one gamer teacher,  Andrew.

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What motivates game-using teachers? Episode 1

Blog post: What motivates game-using teachers? Episode 1

In today’s blog we'll meet Andrew, a secondary history teacher whose game-based learning practices are based around board games and role play.

By Rachel Bolstad

Imagine for a moment that the Games for learning research project is a comic book, and the teachers who are part of our study, a motley crew of superheroes. Not superheroes born with supernatural powers like Superman, but do-it-yourself superheroes like Batman, who sharpen their wits and fashion their own utility belts as they answer the call to teach.  Let’s say that games are among the tools on their teaching utility belts.

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Meet Bob

Blog post: Meet Bob

In his new blog post Elliot Lawes explores how teachers and students view student expertise in games in the classroom.

By Elliot Lawes

Meet Bob. Bob is a floating eyeball with a hard luck story he's dying to tell you. Are you willing to listen?

Welcome to the world of games in the classroom. Bob is the creation of a Year 7 student who wanted to build a digital game examining empathy – a concept he and his classmates had recently been exploring with their teacher. The game featuring Bob was designed and coded (using the Scratch language and platform) over a few weeks in late 2015.

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Advice from game-using teachers

Blog post: Advice from game-using teachers

We interviewed ten game-using teachers in 2015, and asked what advice they would most like to share with other teachers about using games for learning. Here are eight of their top tips.

By Rachel Bolstad

My last post discussed the diverse ways that teachers in the Games for learning project used games in their classrooms.

When we talked with these teachers in late 2015, it was clear that they had already learned a lot from their own exploration and experimentation with game-based learning. We'll be writing more about this soon.

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Playing, making, discussing, gamifying: Many ways to use games for learning - written by Rachel Bolstad

Blog post: Playing, making, discussing, gamifying: Many ways to use games for learning

Following on from Rachel Bolstad's last blog post on "Games OR learning", this post flips the script with a different question “How are New Zealand learners and teachers using games for learning?”, drawing on early findings from the Games for learning project.

My last blog post , “Games OR learning”, asked whether digital games might be viewed by some teachers as distractions or intrusions into students’ learning time. This post flips the script with a different question, “How are New Zealand learners and teachers using games for learning?”, drawing on early findings from the Games for learning project.

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Under the blood is learning: What students wish parents and teachers understood about gaming - written by Sue McDowall

Blog post: Under the blood is learning: What students wish parents and teachers understood about gaming

In this blog Sue McDowall explores what students wished their parents and teachers understood about gaming in light of the persistent moral panic in the media about digital games. 

Many of my friends who are parents, and especially those of teenage boys seem mystified or despairing about the amount of time their children spend in darkened rooms playing digital games. “I never see him”, “What is she doing in there?”, “He only comes out to eat”, “I’m worried he’ll get a vitamin D deficiency”, “He has no friends”, “He’s up all night”, “Who is she talking to?”, “He has no interests”, “It’s all that shooting”, “He gets so angry when I tell him to turn it off”. These are the sorts of things I hear them say.

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