Moving into a technologically dependent society, it is becoming clear that video games are everywhere around us. They are so deeply rooted in human culture that more than 155 million US citizens choose them as a form of entertainment (ESA, 2015). Although it is a difficult task to accurately identify the extent of their penetration into society, given their role in entertainment and other areas, efforts have been made in recent years to develop them as an educational tool that will enhance conventional teaching and learning. in line with modern pedagogical approaches. (Foster, Shah & Duvall, 2015). But why has this effort not been successful? Is it their very nature that prevents them from being integrated into the classroom, or are other factors that make integration difficult?
Virtual reality has attracted the interest of the research community due to the endless possibilities itoffers in the educational arena. Although a wide range of applications already exists, further researchis required to establish effective practices for a fruitful classroom implementation. This quantitativeresearch of a sample of 37 primary school students explores the educational affordances and students’perceptions of virtual reality systems as supportive tools for teaching English as a foreign language.
So you have been using Kahoot! to evaluate students for a while now, but have you ever considered to implement Kahoot! when presenting a new lesson or concept?
While many people create and play kahoots for review, formative assessment or to re-energise the class, others are using Kahoot! differently in a new approach called Blind Kahoot. Blind kahoots are designed to give every learner a chance to feel success and motivation throughout the game, and with long lasting effects. In a single game, you’ll be sparking curiosity about the new topic, laying the foundations for understanding increasingly complex concepts, and giving learners the opportunity to immediately and successfully apply their knowledge.
Toondoo is an easy-to-use web-based application for creating comic books. That is why it is preferred by educators. It is so easy that even Elementary school children are able to use it without any issues.
Children are asked to imagine and make their own little stories by cultivating their metacognitive skills such as creativity and imagination.
One of the most popular and well-known tools for learning a language online is Duolingo. Duolingo is completely free, easy to use and makes it a lot of fun the acquisition of a new language. There is a variety of languages you can choose from, including English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Dutch, Swedish, Turkish, Japanese, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Hebrew, Vietnamese, Greek, Ukrainian, Welsh, Hungarian, Swahili, Korean, Romanian, Czech and Chinese.
How does it work?
Duolingo is a great example of a straightforward language app. It’s really simple to use. You set up a profile, choose your target language, set your weekly goals (only if you’re brave enough) and off you go! There is an option to ‘test out a language’ when you begin a new language. You can start with the basics or you can take an ‘entry test’ and let the app determine your fluency level.
The "Civilization" computer game series is a creation of Sid Meier,a well known digital video game producer and creator.
Minecraft is a building game in which the user is called within its virtual world to place and customize bricks (or as they are called in this game, Blocks) and materials to build constructions that can be functional or not. The user also has to choose from a series of playable scenarios that are distinguished in creative, adventure and survival modes and can also chose to play alone or with others in the multiplayer mode (Nebel, Schneider & Rey, 2015). The particularly useful scenario of creativity is one that provides the greatest potential for educational use as players have unlimited materials to develop the constructions they desire, without being limited by drawbacks such as slow movement from one place to another or the risk their virtual character experiences death, like it happens in the survival mode (Overby & Jones, 2015).
The nature of the game that involves the player in problems with various objects that interact with his decisions, the plethora of choices the user allows, the freedom of movement and choices from the creation of the character to the development of the constructions, puts him in the place of the creator and not just the consumer, resulting in Minecraft being a tool that contains many of the elements of constructivism theories (Overby & Jones, 2015; Nebel, Schneider & Rey, 2015), redefining it as a highly lucrative and benefitial application to any class (Petrov, 2014).
The game is extremely easy to install and can even work on computer systems or mobile devices with low limited infrastructure, although the multiplayer mode obviously requires internet access (Overby & Jones, 2015; Nebel, Schneider & Rey , 2015). The offered actions that can be implemented in the world are varied and can be used to enhance various teaching subjects such as arts, environmental sensitivity, architecture, mechanics, physics, mathematics and history. (Petrov , 2014; Overby & Jones, 2015).
The benefits associated with the use of Minecraft for educational purposes are a lot. The most important are that Minecraft is linked with the development of students' critical thinking, enhancing creativity, and fostering digital literacy in an environment with increased motivation (Petrov, 2014 (Nebel, Schneider & Rey, 2015). If used in an online environment that allows multi-player involvement, it increases student collaboration and teamwork since it operates as a tool of social constructivism (Nebel, Schneider & Rey, 2015).
In conclusion, it is worth mentioning that there is also an educational version of Minecraft available, MinecraftEDU, which provides the appropriate tools for teachers to evaluate student-player moves, easier game management, and a range of other objects to smoothly adapt to the learning process (Nebel, Schneider & Rey, 2015).
Find more at https://minecraft.net/
Nebel, S., Schneider, S., & Rey, G. D. (2016). Mining Learning and Crafting Scientific Experiments: A Literature Review on the Use of Minecraft in Education and Research. Educational Technology & Society, 19 (2): 355-366.
Overby, A. & Jones, B. L. (2015). Virtual LEGOs: Incorporating Minecraft Into the Art Education Curriculum. Art Education, 68 (1), 21-27.
Petrov, A. (2014). Using Minecraft in Education: A Qualitative Study on the Benefits and Challenges of Game-Based Education (Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation). University of Toronto, Canada.
Help your EFL-ESL learners improve their pronunciation and accent with Vocaroo
Vocaroo is a free service that allows users to create audio recordings without the need to install any software. You don't even have to create an account to use Vocaroo. All you need to provide is a microphone
Vocaroo is a particularly useful tool especially for educators that teach teach foreign languages. It is available at no cost and allows the voice of the user to be recorded, allowing him to download the soundtrack to his computer, send it as an e-mail or share it directly on a social network (Charles & Dickens, 2012).
Its possible uses in the learning process are many, ranging from creating Podcasts, transmitting messages between students and teachers, reading short stories, and providing feedback to third parties (Charles & Dickens, 2012; TeachersFirst, n.d.).
Depending on the activity that will be requested by the student, the tool can function as either constructivist or behavioral, but the widest range of exploitable activities can be found under the "behaviourism umbrella"
Several studies have shown that using Vocaroo as a means of enhancing students' oral speech has ultimately led not only to the improvement of this but to the general perception and expressiveness of its users (Kim, 2014). Students' language skills also improve as pupils can repeat the activity as they wish and as many times as they want, while promoting self-assessment building on new knowledge, giving them learning autonomy (Kim, 2014; Budaghyan, 2015).
One of the great advantages of Vocaroo is its ease of use as it does not even need to create an account to use the service, making it extremely easy to be used even by the most inexperienced person(Charles & Dickens, 2012; TeachersFirst, n.d.).
Use Vocaroo at https://vocaroo.com/
Budaghyan, S. (2015). Technology Teacher Training in a Remote Region of Armenia. Procedure - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 197 (7th World Conference on Educational Sciences), 197-200. doi: 10.1016 / j.sbspro.2015.07.12
Charles, K.J., & Dickens, V. (2012). Closing the Communication Gap. Teaching Exceptional Children, 45 (2), 24-32.
Kim, S. H. (2014). Developing autonomous learning for oral proficiency using digital storytelling. Language Learning & Technology 18 (2), 20-35. Retrieved from http://llt.msu.edu/issues/june2014/action1.pdf
TeachersFirst. (n.d.) Vocaroo. Retrieved Oct 15, 2017 by https://teachersfirst.com/single.cfm?id=9921