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Good point!

  • Public
By Nigel Frater

Playing Games = Respecting Games

I’ve been playing video games since I was a kid and never stopped. I play to unwind, connect with friends and have fun. It seems that for many educators playing video games is still seen as something only kids do. It’s something to grow out of. This, despite tons of evidence to suggest otherwise.

Still, I repeatedly talk to teachers who want to use games in their classroom, but don’t want to actually play the games themselves. There’s always the same reason: no time. That worries me because when you choose to bring something into your classroom to engage and build your students’ learning , you must respect it yourself. If you don’t, the kids will know. And then you’re in trouble.

Minecraft is a great example. (You were wondering when Minecraft was going to come up, weren’t you?) Without diving into Minecraft, exploring it and spending time building, surviving or whatever, you cannot know the game. If you don’t know the game, you don’t know it’s potential. You don’t know the amazing possibilities it can offer your students. And you don’t know what to do when things go wrong. You won’t know what advice to give the student trapped in a hole unless you’ve been trapped yourself. You won’t be able to make build suggestions to a redstone-tinkering student unless you’ve done some tinkering yourself. In short, you won’t speak the same language as your students. You won’t be literate in the language their speaking. And that’s no place from which to teach.