This is my personal observation and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of those with whom I work. I do invite debate and would love to hear from you about how much we need to demonstrate to our students. For me the teaching includes safety, ethics and consideration for others.
From time to time I talk to teachers who say that they like the games in SMART Lab and in the Table Activity Toolkit but they just do not have time to show the students how to play them. Let’s consider this. When was the last time an adult sat down with their child to show them how to use an electronic game? Often it is the other way round! The child shows the adult. I remember when an enthusiastic, 7 year old Minecraft player tried to teach me the ropes. It caused him to be more articulate and to slow down! I could almost see the wheels turning as he tried to figure out how to explain it all so that it made sense for someone else. As for me, I was blown away by his understanding of the intent, rules and strategies and he had learned either by himself or by soliciting advice from his brother or friends.
Chances are that when you put the students in front of any of the games, they will figure them out, or they will ask a friend and that friend just may learn how to teach others effectively. Additionally, if they do not play in the way it was intended, does that mean that they are not learning? Sometimes they use the game in a way that teaches them something they need to know. The fun and learning just may be in the challenge of figuring it all out.
What are your thoughts? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org