I’m a digital learning and teacher development consultant with over 17 years’ international experience in teaching, teacher training, product development and academic management. I’m particularly interested in mobile and digital game-based learning and regularly present on these topics at conferences and teachers’ days around the world.

I got into video games in the mid-80s when my parents bought our first computer, a BBC Micro. It came with two great educational games: Granny’s Garden, an interactive fiction game where you used maths, spelling and logic to defeat a witch, and Podd, which allowed you to control an avatar by typing in commands:


In my final year of primary school I bought a second-hand C64. One of my favourite games was Monty on the Run, an adventure classic with a catchy theme tune:


I spent hours in my early teens developing an interest in town planning through SimCity on the SNES:


In 2009, after 15 years of not playing games, I got into them again and started exploring how they could support English language teaching and learning.

Two games I’m playing at the moment are Papers, Please and This War of Mine:


5 thoughts on “About

  1. OMG! I remember that BBC micro game from my youth!

    Posted by tpr007 | July 12, 2015, 12:11 pm
  2. Great talk; Interesting and eye opening(Hong Kong, July 2015). Really shows the possibilities of the use of games within language learning. Cheers.

    Posted by valanchan | July 13, 2015, 1:56 am
    • Thanks Valan. It was great to meet you and the other Hong Kong teachers! Please post on the lesson plan pages if you have any questions or other ideas about using the activities we tried out. See what you think of the other activities too!

      Posted by davegatrell | July 13, 2015, 3:33 am
  3. Hi Mr. Gatrell, may I know if I can get in touch with you through email? I am Jes Sanchez of Mapua Information Technology Center in manila. We are very interested in using digital games for learning.

    Posted by jes Sanchez | July 31, 2015, 7:25 am

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