Friday, December 4, 2009

Digital Game Based Learning

DGBL will always motivate learners at any age. As I was learning the different games available I couldn’t stop playing. Games have always been a very amusing part of my life, I remember when I was a kid that my parents never wanted to give me a game console, so as soon as I was able to earn some money the firs thing I did was buy myself a Play Station 2. I remember that when I played most of the games had the instructions in English, and the first thing I thought was that I would love to have some of my students play these games. So I decided that the next class I would take my console to the school I worked at. The students were really motivated and happy. They needed to use the skills they got from my classes in order to understand the games. I have never seen my students using a dictionary at class so much. Nowadays, I do not take my console to school anymore. This is because students have computers available and they just go online to play games.

For my learning context I have used DGBL in the classroom by allowing the students read the instructions of different games. Unfortunately, since most of the games I use are Internet based, then I have had some problems loading the games, or I have found the need to download programs in order to allow the games to run properly. I have found that when I use the games the students show a lot of interest in the development of the classes, but I always try to have some minutes of the class where we go to the computer room to play the games on their own. I found in the first classes I used games that the students would start to fight because they wanted to play the games, so having one computer available for the class is not always nice. Another aspect that is worth taking into account, is that students must understand that when they play a game they should always find something that enriches their knowledge, or their abilities. I have found many students that like to play games in easy levels and they do not challenge themselves, they just like to win, but they are not really learning anything. So it is important to tell the students that when games become addicting, it is better to step back and ask yourself, what am I gaining from playing this game, and is it worth sacrificing my time to play it?

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