Don’t play games – make games!

Katie Salen in the video, outlines a new school concept (well, not really new but innovative anyway) – a school where the curriculum is totally based around “gaming”. Yeah, that’s right, GAMES.

No, the students aren’t sitting around all day playing computer games. Rather, they are learning valuable skills by making games. Critical thinking, cooperation, synthesis, debate, leadership, delegation, design and many more high order skills that will be in demand this century. Now this is preparing students today for tomorrow!

I’m a big guy for bringing games into the EFL Classroom. However, I’d like to ask teachers to try and go beyond the playing of games and actually getting their students to make the games. I’m sure many classrooms have students who could make the Jeopardy, Transl8it, Flingtheteacher, Baam and other games. As they do – they will learn more English than you can ever imagine – also so many other skills.

That’s my challenge. Let it digest and then come out hitting!

Here’s a nice worksheet for preparing to make a Jeopardy game. Give to groups and let them design the questions then make the game on the computer!
How do you get your students “making” games/content? Any ideas to share?

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Teacher trainer, technology specialist, educational thinker...creator of EFL Classroom 2.0, a social networking site for thousands of EFL / ESL teachers and students around the world.

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2 Responses

  1. Anne Hodgson says:

    Thanks for your nice Jeopardy worksheet! I had my biotech company course work through materials related to the MMR vaccine scare /Dr. Andrew Wakefield scandal by having them make questions for the other half of the course. It was great – they hadn’t heard about ir, so they actually uncovered the details both while they were making their own questions and as they were trying to answer the others’. Their homework is reading this graphic novella – which they’re now looking forward to.

  2. ddeubel says:


    Your welcome. It works doesn’t it and kind even better than the tradition “teacher does all the work and makes a beautiful but less effective online Jeopardy game lesson”. I just reviewed my graduate course before their final by getting pairs of students to make questions from an assigned chapter. If students didn’t know the answer – I had them write down the page where the answer was and when they stated the page , others would race to come up with the answer. I got them to knock softly on their desks to “buzz in”.

    Low tech is sometimes good tech….

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