There is a growing recognition of, and interest in, the benefits of games to support learning and engagement. This is highlighted by the intense interest in “Pokémon Go”, a game designed to get players off the couch, meeting new people and exploring their neighbourhoods. However, game development requires a specialised skill set that can take years to develop. More than that, sophisticated games require a team of dedicated people who collaborate over a long period of time. While it seems obvious that educators should be taking advantage of games for learning, in practice it is not simple to achieve. This interactive workshop demonstrates a number of simpler ways that educators can incorporate games into the bridging classroom. It proposes that there are several ways in which we can use games without requiring years of training and coding experience. We may be able to use existing games, both digital and non-digital. These games can be used “as is” or adapted to purpose. Many teachers already use engaging classroom activities, and these activities may require only a small amount of extra development or some tweaks to turn them into games. Finally, I suggest that we can use facilitated games, a shorter, simpler method of educational game design. These are games where the teacher takes the role of the instruction booklet and adapts the game as necessary as it is played. Each of these methods will be discussed and/or demonstrated and strategies and resources provided so that you can use playful learning in your own classrooms. The activity to be demonstrated in full is the game “Tellybeans”, created for Startup Weekend 2016. Tellybeans acts as an icebreaker as well as a nonthreatening way of drawing background information from participants to inform a lesson and promote discussion.
2016 Learning & Teaching Week: 2020 Teaching Visions. 2020 - What's Next?, Sunshine Coast, Australia 31 October - 4 November 2016