Thinking about games and learning…

On Monday I start loosely designing a six-month gaming course for year 9 students. Tonight, whilst looking for books about video games, I stumbled across the guru of games and learning, James Paul Gee. I just read his article ‘Good Video Games and Good Learning‘ which is awesome and I’ve decided that his final question is my new challenge …

How can we make learning in and out of school, with or without using games, more game-like in the sense of using the sorts of learning principles young people see in good games every day when and if they are playing these games reflectively and strategically?


7 thoughts on “Thinking about games and learning…

  1. A six-month course, I like it. Lots of room to try learning with students and then move in a different direction depending on where they’re at. And lots of time to actually play the games, not just study posters for games 😉

    • Students will be spending a lot of time playing games… the reviewing project is about getting them to think critically about their choice of game, game genre or platform. The review is evaluative but also playful cos the form will be a YouTube vid and probably an episode of a gaming show along the lines of GGSP… we’ll send it off to Bajo and Hex for feedback! All of their work will be transformed from written to spoken for a YouTube audience – we’ll have our own channel. I’m not too bothered that I don’t know much about gaming… I’m happy for my students to be experts at that. I’ll be the expert on analysis and evaluation – haha!!

      • Oh I hope Bajo and Hex get involved with feedback, that is a cool idea!

        Do you think you will encounter any issues with students putting their products up on YouTube? Does it just take a supportive Principal to back this, or do you have to get parental permission? I think it’s a great idea.

      • I’ve been putting student vids up on YouTube for years w/o worrying about parents or principal. The vids don’t ever feature student faces – just voice overs and even then they’re often distorted. It’s up to the kids, ultimately.
        I remember a couple of years ago when I linked to GGSP on my blog, the producers commented! Maybe I’ll get lucky this time – I’ll email them about the course in the holidays 🙂

  2. Hi Biana, I am a former teacher who writes free educational games for my website, so I’ve thought about this issue quite a bit. I have written my thoughts up at if you’d like to have a look.

    Also, totally unrelated to the above – I have some free materlals online that your blog readers might like. Here are some links – if you like them feel free to link them. – fun free games to teach balancing chemical equations, the elements, and graphing points and lines on the (x,y) coordinate plane – I just finished making a hilarious YouTube music video called “The Secret of the Staffroom”. Clean and funny song and music video for students and their teachers.

  3. Pingback: Reflection Week 13: Bianca Hewes, Thinking about games and learning… | Education Empire

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