Last month, Gavin, one of my Year 7 students came up to me after a lesson and said - "I already know about the Battle of Hastings, I know exactly how William won, his clever tactics!". I asked why and fully expected him to say either his parents had told him or he'd read it somewhere but no. Gavin is addicted to the PC Game Age of Empires which apparently contains some of the most famous battles in History, re-created for game players.
Of course, to Gavin, playing age of Empires probably didn't feel like learning, but he was. Not only that, the enjoyment and exhilaration he took from it was captivating. Due to the competitive nature of the game, he remembered even the tiniest details.
It got me thinking, am I utilising game play as much as I can in my own classroom? What do I have thats available to me today that I can use to re-create Gavins PC experience?
I think there is a huge amount of untapped potential in this area, and whether you use technology or not, I think in the future, its going to become a more and more prominent part of pedagogy in the History classroom.