ISFE AND EUROPEAN SCHOOLNET LAUNCH 5TH EDITION OF GAMES IN SCHOOLS, TRAINING TEACHERS ON HOW TO USE VIDEO GAMES IN THE CLASSROOM

ISFE, representing Europe’s video games industry, and European Schoolnet (EUN), the network of 34 Ministries of Education across Europe, have teamed up again to launch the fifth edition of Games in Schools, an initiative designed to train teachers and educators across Europe on how to use commercial video games as pedagogical support in the classroom.

ISFE CEO Simon Little said: “The output from previous editions of Games in Schools has provided evidence for how the use of video games in schools increases student engagement and learning outcomes and helps students with difficulties to reconnect with school when more traditional approaches have failed to unlock their full potential. This is a perfect example of how responsible and appropriate gaming can have major benefits to society and we look forward to analysing the results of Games in Schools 2019.”

Over 3,000 teachers in Europe have registered to participate in the project’s Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) that kicks off on Monday, 14 October 2019. Over a seven-week period, teachers will learn about game design, programming, thematic learning through video games and other benefits video games can bring to the classroom when used appropriately. In addition, a specific module will be dedicated to the promotion of safe and responsible game play, and how teachers can best address this important issue with school-age children.

As in previous years, teachers who participate in the MOOC will be asked to develop a lesson plan using game-based learning elements, with concrete examples of using the game in the classroom. All will be peer-reviewed, and a dedicated editorial board of advanced teachers will select the best ones for publication in the Teachers’ Handbook, providing tips and guidance to teachers on how to use video games as pedagogical support. The Handbook will be available for free on ISFE and EUN websites from February 2020. The previous edition of the Games in Schools Handbook for Teachers is available on the ISFE website.

To mark the launch of the new edition of the Games in Schools project, EUN and ISFE will jointly organise an event on “Learning by playing for a digital society” during EU Code Week – a debate where experts and participants will have the opportunity to explore, discover and discuss games-based learning and game design for the development of digital competences. Involving a panel discussion on “How can games and ICT help pupils become active digital citizens and creators” and a variety of hands-on exploration stations, it will take place in EUN’s Future Classroom Lab (FCL) on Wednesday, 16 October 2019.

Marc Durando, Executive Director of EUN, said that “European Schoolnet is delighted to collaborate with ISFE and work towards fostering an increased understanding of the pedagogical benefits of digital games among teachers, through a new iteration of the Games in Schools MOOC, and to update and develop the evidence base of games-based learning further through a revised edition of the Games in Schools Handbook for Teachers.

Games in Schools is a project led by European Schoolnet on behalf of ISFE which is designed to train teachers and educators across Europe on how to use video games as pedagogical support in the classroom. In its first edition, in 2008, over a thousand teachers engaged with the MOOC, which was followed by the publication of a Handbook for Teachers.

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