It has been a while since I have written a post about Board Games and Education. I am going to like to the introductory post about this series as a refresher of what I am trying to accomplish with this series.
When I started this blog, one of my goals was to write designer logs about the games we worked on in order to let people follow along in the process. I also wanted to get feedback from readers about what they liked and disliked. In general terms, I wanted to share the lessons I learned along the way.
If kids are designing games in school, I think it would be a great idea to have them blog about the experience along the way. The benefits of blogging are many. To pick the low hanging fruit….blogging is a terrific exercise in writing skills, communication skills, social interaction (assuming kids are allowed to interact with comments), and computer skills.
Note: I am not getting into whether or not kids should be blogging. That is a decision that should be left to adults in charge and depends on the age of the students. This post is assuming kids have been given the go ahead to blog and have the proper amount of supervision. Back to the show
Beyond the previously mentioned benefits of blogging, I have found a list of my own benefits over the time I have been blogging. I am more engaged with my writing, I stay on a schedule, I’ve had to learn how to organize and streamline my thoughts and my writing has VASTLY improved.
When I was a student, I hated writing. I may have mentioned this in a previous post but will say it again, I did not care about the subjects I wrote about in school. I care about board games, and more to the point, I care about fun. I look forward to writing about board games and the topics related to. I spend the time researching and taking notes so I am constantly engaged. Not to say that most students would be engaged with board games as a specific topic, but they have a chance to be engaged with the thing they are creating. They might gain a sense of ownership over the subject rather than a sense of obligation.
Blogging also keeps me on a schedule. I want to release a new post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. In order to do that, I write in one of two ways. I write posts in bulk weeks ahead of time or I write the next weeks worth of posts in one sitting the weekend before. It really depends on how productive I am feeling but I have learned the benefits of “batch processing” and reap the benefits when I write posts weeks in advance and now give myself the time to work on other things.
When I start a post, I need to think about how the post will be organized. I have made the choice to keep most of my content short for easy consumption and no the irony of making that statement 500+ words into this post is not lost on me. What my approach has taught me is to be succinct and write in a timeline that makes sense. I’ve learned how to get readers from one paragraph to the next.
To conclude, I will say the obvious again. Writing on a regular schedule and about a topic I enjoy has vastly improved my writing. When I started, I was a terrible writer. I still have a long way to go in my growth as a writer but I see great benefits so far. When I get bored with using the same words so I think of new words to say the same thing. My proofreading has improved greatly, because I am lazy and hate proofreading. Honestly, the fact that I do proofreading now is worth if it was the only thing that changed about my writing. I also find I am able to type without looking at the keys as often. The list goes on and on but I think you get the point.
If a student is allowed to write about their games, there is a good chance they will be gaining writing experience and in turn, becoming better writers. At the very least, they will be able to identify areas where they can improve. They will be engaged in a subject where they have ownership and will be more likely to spend the time it takes to learn the lessons blogging has to offer.
I got to the end of this section and realized I did not cover all I wanted to, so we are going to make this a two part post. Catch part two in a couple days.
If you have any ideas on how games can make great educational tools, please share them in the comments section or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org