Games in Schools
Led by European Schoolnet on behalf of ISFE, Games in Schools is a project designed to train teachers and educators across Europe on how to use video games as pedagogical support in the classroom.
The project’s outputs included a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) about Games in Schools, a selection of teacher-created lesson plans, and a handbook for teachers on using video games for educational purposes.
The project is based on the results and findings of an earlier project on games in schools, summarised in the Games in Schools report published in 2009.
Games in Schools Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)
The Games in Schools project started with a 6-week long Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) with the following modules:
- Module 1: Why use Computer Games in the classroom?
- Module 2: Using Games for Thematic Learning
- Module 3: Learning Games
- Module 4: What can we learn from games?
- Module 5: Designing Games
- Module 6: Why is it important to teach about games?
At the end of the course, teachers were asked to come up with tailored lesson plans (which are shared below) with game-based learning elements. An Editorial Board of Teachers peer-reviewed the lesson plans and included the best ones in the teacher’s handbook on the use of video games in schools. The course remains free and available for use here.
What teachers had to say
More than 4200 teachers across Europe took part in the 2019 edition of the Massive Online Open Courses.
96% of participants reported they will use the examples presented in the MOOCs in their everyday work.
Angela Metallinou, Greece
Samia Mguirhi, Tunisia
Nida Demir, Turkey
Peer-assessed lesson plans
As part of the MOOC, participants produced coursework in the form of lesson plans incorporating ideas, pedagogical strategies and tools shared on the course. This work was first peer-assessed by other course participants and subsequently reviewed by an editorial board made up of a group of experienced and innovative teachers from across Europe.
Handbook for Teachers
This handbook (released in September 2020) is intended for teachers interested in using video games in their classrooms. It is a practical guide containing theoretical and practical information as well as references to useful resources such as lesson plans, articles, websites, and books.
The handbook supports teachers to make informed decisions. After reading the handbook, teachers should be able to choose and use video games in the classroom and reaping all the benefits digital games provide.
European Study: How are digital games used in schools?
Between April 2008 and March 2009, more than 500 teachers, decision-makers and experts in 8 European countries were surveyed to understand two main questions: What can digital games bring to classroom teaching? What kind of cooperation can be envisaged in this precise context between education systems and the games industry? The survey of teachers reveals that – regardless of their gender, age, number of years in the profession, familiarity with games, age of their pupils, or the subject they teach – teachers do indeed use digital games in the classroom. Read more.
On the eve of the publication of the EU’s updated Digital Education Action Plan, ISFE and European Schoolnet hosted the virtual Games in Schools event. “Learning by Playing” brought together EU policymakers, educational experts, and the video games industry to discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by the use of video games as pedagogical support in the classroom.
A University of Surrey research by Dr Anesa Hosein states that, girls (13-14 years old) who played over nine hours of video games a week were 3.3 times more likely to study pSTEM than those who do not play video games. This was the case even after accounting for their socio-economic background, their ethnicity, past performance and how good at their chosen subject they felt they were.
Felix Gyllenstig Serrao, a game-based learning expert from Sweden, discusses how video games help him teach and his request to policymakers to support such teachers.