The connections to developers

We assume the teacher is going into games without any connections to developers. This places more responsibilities on the teacher as an educator. It requires more time playing and planning with games, trying them out and identifying their relevant parts to the subject – in a sense you need to start thinking like a developer and create a good educational tool out of a bigger and bulkier game.

If you are to lead a group that does not have pre-programming skills then you need good knowledge beforehand. Be prepared and read up on programming before you start.

Since there’s a limit to how significantly you can change the game itself without its developer to help you, you will need to modify the educational processes around the game. This is a challenge of course but a good one in the sense of re-thinking what is important about learning a concept or subject but also what is the best way to introduce it since you will need to break it down in small parts. (Tom’s class)

Most games are not designed to teach a very specific thing and can have a lot of content that is superfluous to what you want to achieve in the classroom.

In fact it is the opposite: you will need to find a solution that fits the learner: In case of an autistic girl, her teacher managed to create an authentic scenario of designing a game for a client which motivated her as it was a real life situation and she could relate to it. (Paul’s class).

In general, games want to entertain and engage their players for long periods of time, but as a teacher you’re working with very strict time limitations and thus need to focus on the parts of a game that are relevant to your lesson plan:

Scratch has small parts that can be used as blocks and templates are used to help teachers new to it (Eric’s class, Sara’s class)

Minecraft  is also a very good example of this because it’s a very big game that many educators have put to good use by focusing on smaller segments of it.

Minecraft is the type of game you can spend a lot of time in since it’s very rich and varied in its content.  As Tom has shown us, you can build and decorate a home, build castles, battle monsters and more. (Tom’s class)