Sunday, September 21, 2014

Using Digital Games to Demand Higher

Last Friday, thanks to the British Council Buenos Aires, I had the pleasure of leading this workshop with 300 participants at the 39th annual FAAPI conference in Santiago del Estero, Argentina.

Photo by Pablo Toledo, British Council Argentina
Apart from being surprised at the number of participants, I was encouraged to see so many hands being raised when I asked how many of the teachers in the audience played games themselves. 

Normally, when I ask this question, less than half the audience put up their hands, but this time more than half of the audience raised their hands. 

After running through reasons for using games in the language classroom and showing how graphics in games have changed since the early days, I had time to work through two digital games-based activities with the participants (Droppy and Spent) and to talk briefly about other games that can be played.

Because Jim Scrivener had been one of the plenary speakers, and the focus of his opening plenary and follow-up workshop was 'Demand High ELT', I'd decided to focus on this and how tasks using digital games can be prepared by teachers who want to push their students and get the most out of each of them. I know some teachers have said this is common sense and something they do anyway, but I think it's an excellent idea and well worth emphasising at a conference such as this. You can read more about Demand High on the Demand High website that Jim and Adrian Underhill manage.

The ideas I showed during the workshop were based on those that can be found on the Digital Play blog and in the Digital Play book I co-wrote with Kyle Mawer, who also keeps a great wiki with many links to games, activities and walkthroughs. I was also very surprised but pleased to see that Cengage had copies of our book on sale at the conference - surprised because since its publication I've been looking for it at the conferences I've presented at and have been disappointed that it wasn't available - hats off to Cengage Argentina for being the first publishers to reverse this trend. Unfortunately, CUP Argentina didn't have any copies of Language Learning with Technology on their stand. A missed opportunity.

Here are the slides from the workshop:

Using Digital Games to Demand High from Graham Stanley

and here are the Droppy Slides as a separate presentation:


  1. Thanks for a great read ! I love it, I love it so much that the greedy gnome in me wants more ....