Game Based Learning – Worth the Hype?

The first half of this lecture was on DJs, and we looked specifically at the self taught electronic DJ Madeon. We discussed and reflected on the point that this sort of music making is really sophisticated music mixing, requiring a really high level of musicality. Madeon makes the point in an interview that he taught himself, and that music at school was not helpful and he didn’t enjoy it. Kids have the resources to teach themselves, and a few will if left to explore. However what if we could reach more kids, engaging them during their compulsory music education by respecting and teaching the music of their culture.

Check out some of his stuff below and see if you can catch all the musical tricks…


The second half of this lecture was a talk from a guest lecturer, Rebecca Ly, who had been doing some awesome research into gamification and learning. Her research looks at how games can actually teach music, with a Rock Band like game I believe. Again check out her twitter/blog/find her at the con for more information.She is crazy young and has already presented at conferences such as ISME. So basically #goals.

(Check out her twitter  and her blog)

She discussed the different types of game learning, defining each as following…

Gamification – practice games, making a task such as practice a game.

Serious Games – online training, often seen in the health and education fields.

Entertainment Games – “actual” games.

I was really impressed that she presented not only the positive points on gamification, but also that she engaged in discussion about the hype cycle, and if gaming is addictive or harmful to our children. So do games actually help learning? Well in terms of engagement, yes. Games are more fun than books, so of course they work. They can also engage kids that the traditional system leaves out. But should they always replace “proper” teaching? I don’t know if I’ve bought into the hype yet…


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