In this post I am going to talk about Games and touch on Games Based Learning although I am not an expert in the area of Games Based Learning and it is not something which is really part of creating the perfect Learning Commons, but it is worth a mention.
I allow students to play games on personal devices and on technology provided by the Learning Commons at break time and lunch time. As I have said before I believe that break times are exactly that, students shouldn’t have to do work all the time. What they choose to do in their break times is their choice.
Gaming can be disruptive and may require more intervention from staff as students can become a little over excited sometimes. I find reminding them that it is a privilege to be able to use the equipment for these purposes keeps the behaviour under control.
Don’t forget that you could influence the games they play. Lots of games have great educational benefits. At the moment Minecraft is very popular in education. It can be used in many different ways. Minecraft is great for inspiring creativity, problem solving, collaboration and respect. You could even setup a specific task for students to do in Minecraft. I have done a collaboration project where students worked together to build a scale model of the entire school which was then made into a video tour of the school.
Lots of research and opinions is currently be bounded around focusing on children using technology too much and becoming too obsessed with the requirement to have to be permanently connected. My personal opinion on this is that we need to be giving students more opportunities to do things that don’t require technology but not be punishing technology for the behaviour.