Integrating Game-Based Learning into Tutorials: A Fresh Approach to Coding Education
With the availability of the web, we have virtually any piece of information we could ever need right at our fingertips. Coding games are one of these exciting resources. By combining an educational format with a whole lot of fun, kids of today have a unique opportunity to learn coding, a skill that will serve them well in the future as they complete their education and enter the workforce. This guide will tell you how to integrate gaming and learning into how coding is taught.
Have a Good Plan
Of course, you may need to make modifications to your plan as it’s implemented, but having one at the outset can help you create the structure with which you will present coding with a gaming lesson plan. Codemonkey presents a simple way to use a preset formula that already has an organized curriculum. If you’re planning to go it alone, here are some steps to keep in mind:
- Instruction - introducing a concept or skill, using teaching materials, such as videos, tutorials, books, worksheets, etc.
- Practice - allows for putting the new skills to work to instill the concepts and ideas. Do this using drills, practice problems or challenges that develop coding skills.
- Integration - add your new skills to daily practice by working on larger projects or applying the concepts to real world scenarios.
By using this simple structure, you can create a lesson plan that is doable, but also fun for the kids you are teaching. Some of the resources and materials can be used in more than one of these steps, so don’t think it has to be a rigid format that can’t be customized as you go. Coding games are a great example of something that can be used at each stage of learning and is also an enjoyable and effective way for students to learn the skill.
Research and Test Games
There are loads of coding games out there and rather than using someone else's list, consider trying them out for yourself. That way you can evaluate their place in your lesson plans, as well as determine if they are a good fit for your current students. You may find one game is great for one kid, but not for another, so do your research to find what’s best.
Consider whether the game is entertaining. If not, it may not be as effective for teaching coding skills as others might be. At the same time, pay attention to what your students may be learning from the game. If it’s really fun, but not that educational, it’s probably not the best choice. Likewise, if it’s educational, but not fun, try something else.
This is a good time to consult with others in the field. Talk to teachers who have experience teaching coding and get their advice on which games are best. This gives you a great starting place. You can also let students test games. See what they think. If they feel like it’s fun and educational, you may have the right fit.
There’s no time like the present to get started with your coding lessons. Even if you’re unsure how you will integrate coding into what you’re teaching, jumping right into it is the best first step you can take. After all, there’s a lot to be said for learning from experience and you can’t get that experience if you don’t go ahead.
Fortunately, coding is getting bigger and there are more options available to you than there might have been in the past. Now is the time to put coding into your lesson plans. Your students will thank you now and in the future.
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