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Mobile Learning and Digital Games in Class

Digital Games and Language Teaching

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Book Review  Digital Games in Language Learning and Teaching” Palgrave, Macmillan 2011 Author: Hayo Reinders

Why are digital games so interesting for teaching? Trying to answer the question I read the book and found several answers.  Although the book was written two years ago, it is by no means out of date. First of all, it is a compilation of many contributions made by language teachers and linguists experimenting with all kinds of digital games during the past decades. As the author puts it:  “The diversity of contributions in the book is united by the belief that the rationale for instructional intervention, including the use of games, should be pedagogically sound.” 

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Digital Comics in School

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Have you ever wanted to create your own comics at school? There are many possibilities to integrate comics, mangas, anime and own made cartoons into your syllabus. It is just a question of creativity and team work, not only between class and teacher, but among teachers too. I have divided the possibilities into groups depending on knowledge, time and resources teachers might have.

1. Fast and easy

To start with, you can use tools that provide everything you want. These links are for English teachers who want their students to write stories and have fun. In this case you just have to think of a story to write and start. The sites are for all ages. Although the cartoons are easy to make, I recommend teachers to practice first, create a little cartoon introducing the topic of your lesson, so your students can see what they will be able to create with the tools.

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Global Learning

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What is global learning? Global Learning means to learn about world issues important for everybody; it is about learning to understand the way the world works. Children and grownups learn about other cultures by interacting with them directly without barriers, they learn how other peoples live; they share experiences and knowledge in order to make a better world. Interaction with other countries gives the groups an insight into the culture, economy, history, geography and climate of a foreign country; they learn for instance the correlation between actions taken in one country and their consequences in another. Political decisions in one country can lead to war in other countries, while overfishing in one country may cause famine in another and so on.(read also Mobile Project with Brazil)

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Mobile Project with Brazil

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2013 is the German-Brazilian year; the school I work for wanted someone to do a project on Brazil. I started thinking about ideas for intercultural mobile projects so I wrote to an English teacher I know in Brasilia and asked if she was interested in working with me next term. She was so keen on the project that she even invited a friend to join us with his group. We started immediately. A project between Brazil and Germany would not be possible without computers or mobile phones. The first problem we encountered was that the school in Brasilia had no internet connection;

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Preschool Learning

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Tiptoy is an interactive, audio and learning game series made by Ravensburger in Germany. It consists of games, for all ages, 3-D Puzzles and books for children from three up to ten. Different topics and school subjects can be chosen, for example: Farm, music, numbers or geography and a digital pen with sound. The pen recognizes pictures and produces their respective sound, when you hold the pen on the picture of a river; you can hear the sound of water. The pen also recognizes various symbols at the bottom of the page, each symbol has a different function, e.g. by tipping the ear symbol a voice starts explaining what a river is. Tiptoy is ideal for teaching English as a foreign language as well because it helps develop listening skills at a young age. (read also Interactive Dictionary)

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Interactive Material in Classrooms

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Interactive material in classrooms, like educational games, is always interesting for students. There are sites offering many tools and games ready to use in class. That is not new. But have you ever thought of using the games with adults? Educational games for schools offer games to perfect spelling, learn vocabulary and test language understanding. There is a wide range of educational games in different subjects that you can also take advantage of to teach English.

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Interactive English Dictionary and Games

Looking for a Christmas present I came across the interactive English-German dictionary for school children, age 6 to 10, from Ravensburg. The dictionary is part of the Tiptoy collection I referred to in my article preschool learning.

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Who applies Mobile Learning?

 Many schools have been using mobile devices to teach. Some schools even have their own apps. Universities rely on Mobile Learning because of the advantages. Primary schools use mobile devices because they have proved to be useful in many ways, for example for disabled kids. Many schools talk about their experiences with Mobile Learning and their positive results. But what do students think? Do they have a different view of Mobile Learning or even further ideas on how can Mobile Learning help us in future? One student explains why Mobile Learning should be standard learning. All in all, we can summarize: Mobile Learning is the future.