It was not long ago that I viewed the co…

It was not long ago that I viewed the conventional notion of gaming with disdain. To me, it seemed like a big waste of time when there is so much beauty outside to explore and experience. Not so anymore. Over the last few years, I have worked with students that have resisted many strategies, and finally, buy-in, when it is connected to gaming, includes elements of gaming in the learning.
This past week I was fortunate to spend three days at Microsoft in Vancouver where we discussed some of the possibilities that their software could provide professionals and students in my district. On a conversational tangent the topic of Minecraft came up, and we ended up getting one of their Minecraft Education Edition folks to come and share some of the reasons so many kids love playing the game, and how they’ve leveraged that in their education edition. Long story short I am piloting the software with an English Language Arts class next week!
I do have some concerns about game-based learning but it may be beyond the scope of what we’re talking about. The idea of bringing highly-engaging learning methods to students so often could be problematic as it might foster a sense of “entitled learning”. In essence, the learning comes to the students’ interests and passions and there is little effort required to engage in learning that is inherently less motivating.