Guest Blog – Video Games in the Classroom
It can seem like almost every week there is some clever new idea of how to make lessons more exciting and engaging. Introducing technology and techniques that will fire up kids with excitement for learning.
This is not one of those posts.
Instead, what I want to do is put in your hands a few amazing video games that I think you will enjoy playing yourself and may organically and easily slide into a lesson here or there. These are games that I’ve picked because of their unusual engagement or topic, or how they offer interesting interactions.
They are games that the children in your class probably won’t have heard of, but when they play them will want to keep playing at home. They are all rated as appropriate for 7-year-olds and run on cheaper technology — most often a tablet or computer.
Wilmot’s Warehouse https://www.taminggaming.com/game/Wilmots+Warehouse (Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and iOS.) is a game about organising boxes in a warehouse. You have to work out how to categories each one via the logo on the top. Then, when the customers arrive you need to find it in time. In a group of players, you have to talk to each other and agree how you are going to organise your stock.
Mini Metro https://www.taminggaming.com/game/Mini+Metro (Android, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and iOS) is a game about planning a subway system. However, you do this in real-time as new passengers arrive and you need more lines and trains. It’s super simple to start but leads players to be inventive over how they plan their tube.
Conduct Together https://www.taminggaming.com/game/Conduct+Together (Android, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and iOS) is a toy trainset with a difference. Up to four players each take control of a train and the points. They must work together to get the passengers to their stations without crashing into each other. It’s high stakes and great for some light competition that encourages players to talk to each other.
Spaceteam https://www.taminggaming.com/game/Spaceteam (Android and iOS) is a game where you pilot a spaceship with up to 6 players. You play on smartphones or tablets. Each player has a series of funny-names buttons. But other players get instructions they need to communicate to the person who they are for. It soon becomes chaos, but as players understand they need to communicate, various strategies develop organically.
If you want to find other games like this visit the Family Video Game Database http://www.taminggaming.com. You can also search for games on the site for specific themes and age groups to suit your lessons.
Andy Robertson is a journalist for newspapers and broadcast and has just written the Taming Gaming book for parents.