Building student rapport with games

CoC_titlescreenHave you watched as your students have tried to sneak a peek at their phones and you see their thumbs tapping feverishly? I have. And I have taken away plenty of students’ phones for playing games and texting.

I figured out what many of them are doing. They are building their village on Clash of Clans.

I was curious about this phenomenon called Clash of Clans. I have seen the commercials on TV but really never gave it a second thought. I decided to investigate by downloading the free app and setting up my own village. I found you have to build your village and set up storage for your gold and elixir. These are your currency to buy, build and most importantly defend. It’s all fun and games until you get attacked. You cannot be attacked if you are online. I have to admit, I was very tempted to play during class just like my kids.

Although I have worked with these students for years and know them well, Clash of Clans has given me one more thing to discuss with my students in the down times. They love giving me advice on my village. We laugh at how pathetic my village is compared to theirs. I even had a student invite me into their clan. I accepted for a short time and then left after a non-student was uncomfortable with my being in the clan with my limited experience. I created my own clan for teachers only. It is called Teachers Inc. if you are interested in joining.

I found that my students will pay attention and work if they know that they will get just a few minutes to jump on Clash of Clans to collect the gold and elixir and brag to me about their trophies. This is a great thing to do as they pack up with must a minute or so left of class.

A small investment in time goes a long way to build rapport with your students.