Access to and use of technology has been one of the things most drastically affected (which shows how this part of the world is changing as I am not concerned about drinking water or electricity). Internet is painfully slow and incredibley expensive and has an annoying habit of not working at all just when you need it.
However, in terms of the school I now work at, I have landed on my feet somewhat as it is a well-equipped and efficiently run place with plenty of opportunities and encouragement to do something different (see this post on my other blog for more details).
- Each session will have a learning goal in mind
- The students will learn to play through cooperation, not just competition
- We will discuss issues about gaming such as how much is too much, why are some games unsuitable for kids and so on
- We will focus on problems, dilemas, and social issues that the games raise and how we react to them
The great thing about these titles is that they are 'edu' versions of games the students already know so it opens up the idea of games having an educational element. They also both have active communities of teachers who create maps, worlds, and missions, and also share a multitude of lesson plans and ideas online so there is a lot of inspiration out there.
Of course, this club is not really about language learning as I have a mix of native and non-native English speakers in class but the plan is to use the chance to educate the students about what games can teach us if we let them and how to connect what we the skills we use when playing with the skills we need in the classroom and beyond.
So, a major focus of ELT Sandbox over the coming months will be the club, the activities we do, and the games we play. We will not just stop at Minecraft and Kerbal as some very cool games developers have been kind enough to grant us permission to use their games so I will be writing about those titles as and when we use them.
Also, I have a series of reviews lined up, not just of the games from our club and their educational uses but also a couple of games designed specifically for learning scenarios, a book review and reviews of some of the other GBL blogs and resources out there.
And interviews! I have approached a few leading lights in the worlds of GBL and ELT to be intervieweed for this blog and you can expect to see some of those appearing soon.
Please stay tuned for our GBL club adventure and ELT Sandbox posts!