Just as blocks have no inherent curricular power other than experience in making big things by stacking smaller things in the right order, the ability of computer-controlled pixels to convey important knowledge depends entirely on what (and how) they are used. That’s where teachers come in…and why some are beginning to use an inexpensive online game to teach everything from philosophy to biology: Minecraft.
Felix Kronenberg is an as Assistant Professor for Modern Languages and Literatures and Director of the Language Learning Center at Rhodes College. He was awarded the 2009 Marie Sheppard Award by the International Association for Language Learning and Technology (IALLT), and has been a fellow for the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education. He is the immediate past-president of the SouthWest Association for Language Learning and Technology (SWALLT) and is the editor of the IALLT Publication "Language Center Design". His research interests include computer games and language learning, digital storytelling, and language center design. He maintains a blog called Language Technology Boot Camp.
Small, browser-based games can be great in your language classes because of their manageable scope, shallow learning curve, and their accessibility. Fitting into a single lesson, they can create co...
Maryanne Burgos's insight:
mall, browser-based games can be great in your language classes because of their manageable scope, shallow learning curve, and their accessibility. Fitting into a single lesson, they can create conversation opportunities and prompts.
For instance, the 20 questions game, derived from a traditionally non-digital game, provides an always present conversation partner and lets users seek an answer individually or collectively. Players imagine a word and the computer tries to figure it out – it’s a human vs. machine contest that can create a collective in-group identity.
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