A few weeks ago we blogged about the value of online games in the classroom. Hopefully it inspired some thinking about the purpose, intentionality, and value the games add to the student’s learning. We know that there are times where some sort of online game works for classrooms so here are some strategies that may ensure higher quality learning.
- Connect the game to another learning goal.
If students need to study vocabulary and matching quizlet cards is your only choice, consider providing an activity that requires the students to transfer the learning. If students must review vocabulary words, assign a follow up paragraph where they use the words in context.
2. If the game tracks points/time, ask students to reflect on progress.
Asking students to reflect on how they decreased their time to solve math facts or
match words and definitions allows the kids to think about their thinking. This also allows teachers insight into what mistakes students may have initially had and how the students addressed those mistakes.
3. Ask students to complete a check for understanding.
If students spend their time working on a game, how does the teacher know what
the students know? Consider asking students to immediately complete a
formative assessment that is automatically graded through Google Forms or GoFormative.com. If students do well, you know that the game may not be the best use of the students’ time the next day. If the students do not do well, you know how to adjust your instruction.
Hopefully these strategies will allow teachers to take edtech games to the next level of learning for your students. Ensuring that students make the connections between the games and the unit’s learning is a great way to add value to edtech games in the class.