Fearful students


Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear – Albert Camus In the ESL /EFL field, there is a lot of talk about reducing the effective filter. In Gamification, the talk is about encouraging the Psychosocial Moratorium. Yet, even for all this talk, there is still a lot of fear inside classrooms. Not just performance anxiety, […]

Bad for You: Exposing the War against Fun


There is something very appropriate about using a comic book to look at the habits of society to demonize youth culture. I say this because comics themselves have had their time to be vilified. The 1950’s saw the largest book burnings to ever take place in America; the target, comics. “Bad for you” uses the lesser […]

The Explorer in the Classroom

The Explorer In The Classroom

Richard Bartle defined 4 types of players and how they enjoyed playing MUDs (precursors to the modern MMORGS). For a discussion of how these types map to a classroom see here. The Explorer in Education Explorers delight in having the game expose its internal machinations to them. – Richard Bartle In the terms of education, […]

Homework and The Grind


One of the elements that is highly frustrating in MMORPGS is the grind. It can be summarized as the (seemingly) pointless activities that the players undertake to acquire the points to progress and engage in the game proper. Typically these are activities that the player can accomplish with relative ease and have become thoughtless and […]

5 holiday gifts for the EFL/ESL teacher

5 Gift Ideas for

With the holidays fast approaching I wanted to share some gift Ideas for the EFL ESL teacher in your life. (Remember that you can always buy some of these things for yourself). So without further ado, here are 5 holiday gift ideas for EFL/ESL teachers 1) Technology for the classroom The Beklin Rockstar One of […]

Players In The Classroom

Players in the classroom

A Multi-player online (MMO) game is very similar to a modern day classroom. They are both created environments with different ways to interact with material that is being supplied, either by the teacher (in the case of the classroom) or the server (in an MMO). They encourage both social interaction and individual work. The system […]

Talking to someone new

Talking to someone new

We have all been there; doing an activity in class that’s going really well. The students are engaged and talking—until we ask them to change partners, that is. There are many reasons why an activity can fall apart at this stage. The students might be unsure of how they are supposed to change and are […]

Idioms and classroom managment in Asia

Classroom management

You can learn a lot about cultures by how they chose to express themselves through idioms. The metaphors captured by the idiom often can give a greater insight into the cultural values of the language user. Let’s compare two idioms—one from America and the other from Asia. From America “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” […]

Is learning a discrete or emergent phenomena?

Is Learning Discrete Or Emergent

The traditional view of learning is that it is the transmission of truth from one human mind to another (see here for my take on this subject). In modern terms it is all most like computer file transfer protocols exchanging data from one knowledge retention source to another. Therefore if there is an improper transmission of […]