Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Derek’s Notes about Game-Based Learning

by  Derek Wenmoth, Derek’s Blog

I’ve just been looking through the list of links that came to me via: Online Colleges titled The 20 Best Blogs About Game-Based Learning collated by Jasmine Hall, staff writer for the Online Colleges website.

Her introduction reads;

Adults these days… seem really into chastising video games those crazy kids are into as symptomatic of the human race’s inevitable, steady decline. Like every hobby and medium, legitimate concerns regarding these technologies certainly exist, but their complete lack of validity is decidedly not amongst them. Intrepid educators, developers, administrators, and parents alike know that new and digital media can be harnessed for more productive ends, such as helping students soak up various academic subjects or training new employees. Even the FBI recognizes and uses video games as valuable learning tools! Because the push toward incorporating these resources still exists in a comparatively inchoate state, anyone curious about how they apply to educational settings should keep up with the latest movements and technologies currently shaping the movement’s future. Blogs can help with that.

I agree with her that the role of game-based learning is still not fully understood or appreciated – but our lack of understanding should not hold us back from being open to investigate what the potential may be. To that end the list of blogs collated here by Jasmine is very useful – not only because of the information they contain, but also because of the way that this illustrates how the open publication of new thinking, research and ideas on blogs like these represents a part of the new way that knowledge is being constructed and shared in the ‘knowledge age’.

Reflecting here I thought about some of the more recent posts I’ve made about educational gaming and gamification, including;

  • Some thoughts I had about the use of Minecraft in education. Since that post I’ve spoken to a number of teachers who have described to me how they’re using that as a part of their work with students.
  • Comments about the Game-based Handbook, published by the European Commision, that provides a framework for games-based pedagogy.
  • Reference to a paper titled 7 Things You Should Know About Gamification, providing a very simple response to 7 fundamental questions people have about the concept of gamification.

As this breadth/depth of knowledge develops and is shared, I’d certainly hope that we begin to see more evidence of these approaches being adopted in classrooms – intentionally, purposefully and in ways that engage and excite learners.


About Derek:

I am currently the Director of eLearning CORE Education Ltd, a not-for-profit educational research and development organization based in Christchurch, New Zealand. I have a broad background in education, with experience as a teacher and principal at the primary and secondary school level, and in teacher education.

I’ve also worked with the Ministry of Education as a senior adviser in eLearning, helping formulate a national eLearning framework, and I currently spend some of my time on contract to the Ministry working on the implementation plan for this framework.

Also check out : Interview with Derek (Edutopia)

The content in Derek’s blog is licensed under Creative Commons CC-BY)


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4 Responses »


  1. Derek’s Notes about Game-Based Learning | Games and education |
  2. Derek’s Notes about Game-Based Learning | Educação, EaD e Games |
  3. Top 10 Online Communities for Educators of Game-Based Learning | Classroom Aid
  4. The 20 Best Blogs about Game-Based Learning and Your Recommendations | Classroom Aid

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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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