Good games can provide immersive experiences for students. Like novels, films, plays, and other media, games can be high-quality materials a teacher uses to enable students to access the curriculum. Classrooms with high-functioning game-based learning are not ones in which the teacher hands a game to students to play. Nor do the teachers "gamify" their rooms, turning them into a game. Instead, effective game-based classrooms involve each of these components. Students are provided with learning experiences driven by play.
The following are three approaches to bringing game-based learning to your classroom. They’re not distinct from one another - so try mixing two or all three.
1. Games as Shared Experience
In 2015, Benjamin Stokes compared the experience of playing games to taking a class on a field trip. With a field trip, you first let students know what to expect and then give them freedom to explore an out-of-school location. Back in the classroom, you facilitate connections to the curriculum. Games, like field trips, provide meaning for students. You can put students in Minecraft and have them build structures. When night comes and creepers attack, only the students who stayed in fortified structures survive. After play, discuss the difficulties of setting up a colony in a hostile environment, like Jamestown. Students understand the dangers of settling new worlds because they have experienced them.
As smartphones and tablets blur lines between work, home and social lives, parents are grappling to balance it all, a new small study suggests. Parents' use of mobile technology around young children may be causing internal tension, conflicts and negative interactions with their kids, suggests the qualitative study in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics. It's a challenge both parents and health care providers should tune in to.
"Parents are constantly feeling like they are in more than one place at once while parenting. They're still 'at work.' They're keeping up socially. All while trying to cook dinner and attend to their kids," says lead author Jenny Radesky, M.D., a child behavior expert and pediatrician at University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital who conducted the study with colleagues from Boston Medical Center.
"It's much harder to toggle between mom or dad brain and other aspects of life because the boundaries have all blurred together. We wanted to understand how this was affecting parents emotionally. We found that parents are struggling to balance family time and the desire to be present at home with technology-based expectations like responding to work and other demands."
The study involved in-depth interviews with 35 caregivers, which included moms, dads and grandmothers.
Participants consistently expressed an internal struggle between multitasking mobile technology use, work and children, information overload and emotional tensions around disrupting family routines, such as meal time. As one mom in a focus group described it, "the whole world is in your lap."
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