Non-Digital Game Based Learning – Video Transcript
As a kid, I grew up playing board games with my family & relatives, and later as a father of 3, we enjoyed board games with all of my own kids as they were growing up, so it was natural to believe there would be benefits for my students, many years ago when I was a classroom teacher.
25 years ago I was a middle school block teacher. As a block teacher, I had 3 hours a day with 20-25 7th and 8th grade students and taught, reading/writing and social studies.
Once a month–and on days when we’d have one of those weird school schedules– we’d play board games.
Here are my Big 5 board games used in my classroom
- Game of Life
In MONOPOLY we’d learn about money–some things as simple as making change and the power of investment and increased returns with asset management… which is just fancy way of saying something we all know: you want to buy houses and hotels to earn more money!
In the game of RISK, students learn about maps, geography, locations/places and: world domination. Even my daughter at 24 years old mentioned RISK the other day when we were discussing the current situation with Russia remembering the Ukraine’s strategic location in the game we played when she was quite young.
Playing YAHTZEE students learn about probability and get to practice some minor math in accounting when adding their scores.
The GAME OF LIFE was where a lot of questions came from. Because when students were playing, this isn’t “time off” for the teacher. I alway thought it was important to be active in walking around and asking questions, helping them stay on task with questions about their thinking processes and different strategies. You know, the “what would happen if?” “What do you think Pat will do on their next term?” or, “What would you do different next time?” and “Why do you think that happened?”, Reflective, evaluative kinds of questions
In the Game of Life….Where else do you have the opportunity for young students to be exposed to the concepts of insurance policies, promisory notes, inheritance, “suing for damages” and more? Anyone who has ever had to pay a plumber for an emergency can relate to landing on the space “pipe bursts pay $20,000 in water damage” or the notion that the “Pay Day” square can never come fast enough!
Lastly, the game CLUE was a great game for students as they collected evidence and attempted to solve the murder from clues. In doing so, they were learning about variables and engaging in deductive reasoning.
What worked about all of these games is they are multi-player games which allow for 2 or more people, making it easy in a classroom setting with different or changing groups or varied attendance. With NON-Digital Game Based Learning, I firmly believe there are two areas that receive significant benefits
First, are the MENTAL BENEFITS Playing these games can be a form of Mental exercise. genaral awareness & focused attention >>learning to sit for an extended duration for some students can be a challenge They learn to recognize patterns–plan ahead–predict–make decisions–act–and most importantly learn from experience
Strategy and Chance both play a role in all of these games and students learn how to mitigate between their choices and dealing with random events.
Secondly, and in my opinion the most important aspect of non-digital game based learning are the SOCIAL BENEFITS
Social interaction between different ages, abilities, genders, ethnicities benefits everyone when EVERYbody can play together.
Importantly, the interaction is within specific norms and rules of a game and those interactions can be both verbal and non-verbal.
Students learn to follow rules & conventions required for different games and understanding the concepts of those rules to be successful
They learn to self-regulate. To Take turns, and have patience & self control while others are taking their turn. And dare I say, it can help students learn to be polite. They can understand that they can be Planning ahead, so they’re ready when it is time to take their turn.
I’m also a firm believer in learning to compete and these games allow for Competitiveness in a low-threat and low-risk environment. And, regardless of the outcome, Sportsmanship is important as Students learn to win and lose gracefully in front of each other publicly.
You may have other NON-DIGITAL Games you like, or even enjoy some of the updated versions of these games that have more current and kid-friendly themes. I encourage you to consider how they can benefit you, your students, and children.
In closing, As I was preparing for this video and sharing with a colleague, they said
“Well, you know all of those games are online and available as apps. That way you don’t have to worry about all the set-up and clean-up.”
To which I replied: “You know, Learning that EVERYONE is responsible for cleaning up and keeping their area clean, may be one of the best learnings of all!”
Admittedly, there are other games that can be more subject specific and directive. For overall educational impact and especially the development of positive AFFECTIVE behaviors in growing adolescents, you’re not going to go wrong with my Big 5!
I encourage you to check-out my other videos on Game Based Learning & Gamification.
Thanks for watching!
I’m Kevin Corbett
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