Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Videogames and Education (II part)

For the second part of this series, I would like to explain more about how to use video games at the school. So, teachers, you can use strategy games to develop high level skills on your students.
First of all, you have to choose a game, but before that, you must PLAY a game. And this is important because you can't teach, what you don't know. So, once you have chosen any game and played already, then you can continue. (It is a personal opinion, but I like the game "The Age of the Empires", because apart from just playing, you can learn about history or create your own scenario).
Then, you have to determine which are going to be the skills you are going to develop in your students, in relation with the game, and your own contents (Ex.: Finding vocabulary, choosing some options, exploring, socializing, problem resolutions, creating examples through sentences in English, etc.)
After that, you have to plan what you are going to do in class: the activities you will choose to do, the resources, type of evaluation, and the time you will use.
I have thought in this 4 activities:
  1. Students must describe who and how was William Wallace (character of the game "The Age of the Empires), using adjectives and then, creating simple sentences with the verb "To Be". Also, completion activities with simple tenses. (It will be 20% of the final mark and it must be done in 2 hours)
  2. Students must play on the game in the "learning campaign". They must win at least the first 4 campaigns and the teacher will give a paper with the Imperative form content. So students must find examples on the game. Finally, they get vocabulary from the "Technology Tree", which is one of the options of the game, in which you can learn more about the civilizations you are playing with. (It will be 30% of the final mark and it must be done in 3 hours)
  3. Students get information about the Future tense, and they must create sentences in English with the vocabulary they found previously. So they will express a strategy they will use, telling the steps they will take to win the last level. (It will be 30% of the final mark and it must be done in 3 hours)
  4. Then, they must finish by completing a paper about the "Celts" civilization, and then they will evaluate themselves. (It will be 20% of the final mark, and it must be done in 2 hours)
This is just an example to use strategy games at the school. And it is designed for teachers of English as a second language. But of course, you can adapt it, and it will work so well with teachers of history, teachers of art, teachers of maths, etc.
In the last part of this series, I will explain why it is important to use or, at least, to consider in using video games with your students, so nobody will think that you are just losing time in playing. (Which is really not true)

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