The four “super-skills” in education currently are communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. How do you included all of these skills in a classroom? Use a game.
We recently used BreakOut EDU, a locked box game much like the “locked room” scenarios popular today, with 34 pre-service teaching students to show them the advantages of including a game in the classroom.
Students were in groups to tackle two game scenarios, one aimed at elementary classrooms and the other a little more complicated for middle school or even high school classes.
Students found they had to communicate with each other to find out the nature of the locks and the clues that would, potentially, unlock them. Collaboration was a valuable skill as some clues included math formulas or several people brainstorming answers to clues. People relied on their personal subject area strengths to contribute answers to some of the questions.
Critical thinking came in to play when teams inevitably hit the wall with some clues. Students began to “think outside the box” for answers to some roadblocks.
Finally, students became quite creative as time ran down on the game to match clue information with lock design. The teams were all successful.
By experiencing a real game situation, all of these students will be more prepared to introduce a game or game design into their own classrooms.
Please visit our new Research Guide about Games and Simulations from the Doucette Home Page for more information about including games in the classroom.