Sunday, October 18, 2009


I really like the philosophy of using fun and games to motivate the students; however, I always feel guilty whenever I use games in the classroom. I know I shouldn’t.

There is a website called JamLegend, which is a nice emulation of Guitar Hero. In my Music class, I asked the students to sign up at this site and take their character to Level 2. The students really enjoyed the activity.

Still, I felt uneasy about the task. Would my principal approve? Would the other teachers approve? Would the parents approve?

Were the students really learning anything, any skills? I had to convince myself that the game was improving their dexterity (for guitar) and developing their sense of rhythm and music.

Essentially, any time that my students are having fun or enjoying themselves in the classroom, I feel a tinge of guilt. School is not supposed to by fun. It’s irrational, I know; maybe it’s a product of my Catholic upbringing.

An event later in the week did nothing to ease my conscience. I decided to have my Geography class play SimCity, because I think it teaches a lot about the way a city functions. Unfortunately, I had to abandon my plan when I discovered that the SimCity website is blocked at our school.

There are many game sites that are not blocked. The filtering program seems to be quite haphazard. For example, an online game, Evony, is not blocked, and many of the students play it during their free time and during lunch. Evony is a medieval type game where the player must build up their town and army, and manage resources. Hmm, maybe I can incorporate it into my History class…

Photo by All Glass Photo.


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