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Posts Tagged ‘tom barrett

Tom Barrett asks if the label “Games Based Learning” is useful and posts some preliminary thoughts on the topic.

In short, he points out that game-based learning (GBL) might be useful a) to those who know what it means and b) to compartmentalize it for those who don’t. But he also worries that putting it in a separate box might not allow viewers to see the big picture.

I am not worried about putting it in the box. I am more worried that teachers don’t take it out of that box (or don’t know that it exists) and don’t use it appropriately. This is why I get my trainee teachers to experience and evaluate educational gaming.

I also have two more thoughts to add to the pot (or box as might be the case). First, teachers, particularly those in physical education, have been using game-based learning for the longest time, so it is not new. The term GBL seems to have evolved to mean computer and video game-based learning now.

Second, you don’t have to play video games to apply game-based learning strategies. GBL is about providing experiences and even tests before providing content (if any). GBL is about making learning fun, interesting and self-propelling. GBL is about giving learning a clear purpose by constant problem-solving and learning content as and when needed.

So what’s in a name like GBL? A lot more than meets the eye.

Tom Barrett is an educator in the UK. If you follow his tweets, you will know that  he has Nintendo DSs and multitouch surface computers to use in his classroom. I envy him. But that it not why I am blogging.

Tom shared in his blog how he uses Google Docs (GD) to provide feedback on his students’ written work. He is also thinking of using GD to provide regular feedback to parents.

If more practitioners shared ideas like him, they would need next to no formal professional development. Every teacher would be helping some other teacher!


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