ELT Sandbox Interviews… Saul Muscat

An interview with Saul Muscat, an ESL teacher turned games designer about his experiences of using Minecraft in the language classroom.

ELT Sandbox Interviews… James York (Kotoba Miners)

An insightful interview with James York, founder of Kotoba Miners, about how he uses Minecraft as a digital environment and online community for players wanting to learn Japanese. We also discuss his research into virtual worlds in language learning. This post originally appeared at http://eltsandbox.weebly.com/blog/elt-sandbox-interviews-james-york-kotoba-miners in April, 2016.

My First Day in #Minecraft

My first day in Minecraft, like those of most others, did not end well. This post narrated the events of the that day and includes a quick lesson idea inviting our learners to do the same.

Learning to Learn with #Minecraft – #DGBL #ELT Lesson Plan

Interested in using Minecraft with your students? Worried that they will know more about the game than you? Unsure where to start? Then this lesson plan is exactly what you need! It suggests a series of activities designed to get the students to teach the teacher how to play the game. This post originally appeared at http://eltsandbox.weebly.com/blog/-learning-to-learn-with-minecraft-dgbl-elt-lesson-plan in April, 2016

A Quick History of Digital Game-based Language Learning [Video]

Using video games in language education has become a hot topic it recent years, but it has a surprisingly long history. In this video, I discuss research, barriers and advances in game-based learning over the last thirty years and discuss why now is an exciting time for DGBL. This presentation is based on the following article: Dodgson, D (2016). Pixelated Circles: 30 years of game-based language learning. C&Ts (IATEFL YLTSIG Magazine) Special Pearl Jubilee Edition, pp 64-66

2017 Update

A look forward to my plans and hopes for developing my ideas about game-based learning more over the coming year.

When Gaming and Cultural Styles Clash, We Need an Attitude Adjustment

As Clash of Clans is set to be banned in Iran, this post makes the case to move on from the cliched 'games are violent' argument and start focusing on changing stakeholders' attitudes instead.

Why do we even need to talk about violence in #Minecraft?

A repost from March, 2015 when news broke that Turkey was considering a ban on Minecraft. Though it never came about, the episode revealed a lot about the misconceptions people have about video games. This post originally appeared at: http://eltsandbox.weebly.com/blog/why-do-we-even-need-to-talk-about-violence-in-minecraft

You won’t believe this mindbogglingly simple idea for using #PokémonGo with #ESL learners!!!

Pokemon Go was all the rage a few months ago. This repost looks at the best way I think it can be used with students - you might be surprised! This post originally appeared at http://eltsandbox.weebly.com/blog/you-wont-believe-this-mindbogglingly-simple-idea-for-using-pokemon-go-with-esl-learners in August, 2016.

Changing Perspectives – Different directions for games in ELT

My thoughts on GBL have changed over the last year and this post reflects on some of the interactions with other educators that have prompted reflection on my part. This post originally appeared at http://eltsandbox.weebly.com/blog/changing-perspectives-different-directions-for-games-in-elt in July, 2016.