Smartphone Apps for Game-Based Learning in the Classroom

It’s no secret that students love playing games in class. Foreign language classes are more likely to contain games than a lot of other subjects, but I designed this workshop for an audience of a wide range of subject teachers.


This is an app that’s growing rapidly in popularity due to its easy of use, its fun competition style, and its usefulness for daily formative assessment. It can also be used for anonymous polls and surveys in class, or to launch a class discussion. Students really love this one. It can be played through any internet-ready device (phone, laptop, computer). Access the site for teachers here. To play, students simply enter the game code here once you launch your chosen game for them.


This app takes a little more time and creativity. It’s an app-based scavenger hunt game where students can play alone or as teams. The teacher can watch the progress from the classroom as students snap pictures around campus or around town to fulfill the tasks you’ve set for them. I’ve used this during class time for vocabulary and for introductory phonetics lessons as students acclimate to the IPA. This is a fun way to introduce students to resources (such as in a library, lab, or special learning center) by creating a scavenger hunt for the resources you want them to find. I have also used this as a semester-long project based on clues around town and in the area to encourage students to keep French in their minds while doing other activities. A colleague suggested setting a similar assignment during a school holiday as a fun way to stay engaged with the target language during break. Access for creator site here. Students download the free app on their phone or tablet.

Game-Based Learning Prezi

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