The annual Games in Education conference in Troy, New York is a rarity in that it brings together two groups of people who don’t often spend a lot of time together—classroom teachers and educational game developers. A group of about 200 of us gathered in a handful of conference rooms and discussed our work—sharing innovations, best practices, strategies, and challenges that we’ve encountered at the intersection of technology and learning.
Which begs the question: why don’t educational game designers and developers spend more time with classroom teachers? After all, it stands to reason that the two groups have a lot in common. Teachers face many of the same challenges and opportunities that game designers do: they spend their days grappling with how to make curricula digestible for kids; they struggle to engage an often skeptical audience; they are frequently faced with staggering budgetary and technological constraints; and, mostly, they long to see kids engaged and excited about what they’re doing and their ability to do it.
Working at Classroom, Inc., I am fortunate to have many former classroom teachers as colleagues, including members of the Product Development team. This means I always have at least one teacher participating deeply in the design process as we create new learning games. We also have extraordinary access to see our programs being used in classrooms, so we stay very close to the environments in which our games will be implemented. Even so, I always learn something about being a better game designer every time I go out and talk to new teachers. Here’s some of what I picked up in just two short days in Troy:
1. Keep Focused on Outcomes
2. Remember, Every Kid is Different
3. Hack Your Toolset
4. Respect the Kids
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.gamesandlearning.org