By playing games on TeacherGaming, students can gain a deeper understanding of a topic. For example, in the game Dr. Guts, students play the part of a doctor who tries to make the body function more efficiently. In a humorous and slightly disgusting way, students experiment with the digestive, respiratory, and other body systems with mixed results for their unsuspecting patients. By the time they've completed the game, their understanding of the human body beats anything they could learn from a textbook. Imagine the benefits of a democracy simulation (Democracy 3) and engineering sandboxes (Cities: Skylines or Contraption Maker) for teaching complex concepts and real-world problem-solving. With Planetoid Pioneers and FazGame, students even design their own games.
Teachers get started by creating a class and listing students by first name. There are no student accounts, which makes setup simple and protects student privacy. Each class has a class code that students use to connect to the game. Most of the games can be played via the TeacherGaming student website, but if you choose a game that requires a mobile/desktop app (or you prefer this option), you'll need to download the appropriate app(s) to student devices in advance. These games are all commercially available, but TeacherGaming improves the teacher experience by streamlining access, designing lessons, and analyzing student progress. While analytics on the skills students experience in the game are nice to have, you'll have to use other methods than the dashboard (like the follow-up activities) to truly measure student learning.Continue reading Show less
TeacherGaming is a unique platform that pairs "real" digital games with high-quality lesson plans and learning analytics. Using the TeacherGaming Desk (dashboard), teachers can sort lessons by topic and assign activities. Students connect to the games using a unique code via the TeacherGaming app/web app. While kids play, teachers can monitor progress and view standards-aligned analytics. Many of the games are web-based, though some games support only specific platforms (iOS, Mac OS, Windows, Android, or Linux). Teachers are encouraged to play the games in advance or alongside students, but prior experience with the games isn't necessary.
The customizable TeacherGaming lessons provide teachers with background info, unplugged lesson activities, and gameplay how-tos. TeacherGaming currently offers over 40 games for pre-K to 12 in many subject areas, with science, computer science, and social studies dominating. Games include popular titles Arctopia, Cities: Skylines, Stranded, Democracy 3, Algo Bot, Crazy Plant Shop, Epistory, and more.
TeacherGaming is an authentic and simple way to incorporate game-based learning into the classroom. Most of the games are higher quality than the crummy content-focused "educational" games that try to masquerade as video games. Still, many of the games were specifically built with education in mind and have limitations. It would be nice to see more mainstream games like Cities: Skylines included in the library, particularly games with social and emotional storylines.
TeacherGaming has identified the educational skills taught within each game to generate analytics based on each student's gameplay. Each lesson includes unplugged activities and group discussions to keep the experience from becoming too screen-focused, and follow-up lesson activities help teachers assess what the students learned while playing. TeacherGaming makes it easy for teachers who aren't gamers to integrate engaging games into their classroom. Chances are, your students will love it, and their expertise will fill in your own knowledge gaps. With 40+ games and counting, surely you can find at least one that fits your curriculum.