We spend a lot of time at Filament thinking about the best ways to use games in the classroom – our designers, engineers, and artists are all tirelessly invested in uncovering new ways that games can shine in a formal education setting. By far, our most reliable sources of inspiration are the teachers who are doing the hard day-to-day work of running a classroom that uses games as part of the pedagogical mix.
While learning games are still not quite a dominant classroom technology, their use is steadily on the rise. The A-Games project conducted by the University of Michigan found that 50% of teachers self-identified as “very comfortable” using games in the classroom. Of those teachers, a staggering 80% were found to use digital games weekly or more often. Clearly, a level of comfort with the technology leads to greater use, and there’s a mountain of research showing that using more games improves classroom engagement and achievement.
But how do educators build up that sense of familiarity and affinity with game-based learning? Oftentimes an educator that uses games in the classroom is a gamer themselves, and is looking to extend their passion for games into their professional life. But that isn’t the case with everyone! For educators that aren’t gamers, there’s lots of great resources to get you started. First, check out this collection of free learning game resources that we’ve assembled over on our Pinterest board – this easily accessible content is a great inroad to the world of game-based learning.
Once you’ve played around with some of this learning game content, you might start thinking about the ways that games can fit into your existing classroom practice. The teachers we work with have seen powerful results when incorporating a learning game into a larger, relevant lesson plan.
There is also the question of funding – while there are many great free games, the strongest learning game content often comes with an associated cost. With tight school budgets, administrators can be hard-pressed to acquire the resources that they want the most. Fortunately, there are many avenues to pursue funding for EdTech – read more here about the grants and organizations that can help you fund a game-based learning program at your school.
With these tools at your disposal, you’ll be a game-based learning rockstar in no time. Want to read more? Hear from our game-based learning educator allies in the How to Teach with Games ebook!