In a very minor way, I am unique. A BBC executive producer who worked in BBC Education and Drama for twenty years, and then a secondary English teacher for seven. I am still teaching.
I teach over 240 boys and they are – like all their age – fixated by video games. Currently, it’s “Fortnite”. – a game of – as usual – figures killing each other. Compared to these high octane and high budget offerings, my attempts to teach Romeo and Juliet or To Kill a Mocking Bird to many reluctant learners seem things to be endured, even when accompanied by a film or a You Tube clip.
Then there was Covid and given my age and then lockdown, I ended up doing lessons on line, staring out at 32 other faces ( smaller than mine) five times a day, and over the months, to my ( and theirs) surprise, developed techniques for homework, marking, group work, quizzes and even acting on line.
And then it came to me. When I wanted resources, where was the computer game of Romeo and Juliet? Where was the game of Beowulf? Why couldn’t I set Homework that was “go and play Section 4 of the marriage scene in the Midsummer Night’s Dream Game”? In short, why weren’t there any educational computer games? I did search but there seems to be nothing properly devised, linked to the exam syllabus and vetted by the educational authorities. Why is that?
I still don’t really know the answer to that.