I’m a teacher, teacher trainer and materials writer. I’ve taught English since 2001 in the Czech Republic, Spain and Hong Kong, and have trained teachers in using technology in the classroom in countries as diverse as Hong Kong, Japan, Kazakhstan and Jordan.

I’m particularly interested in mobile and digital game-based learning. I co-wrote the British Council teacher development course, Learning Technologies for the Classroom, and my current job involves managing, developing, and writing other British Council global online teacher training programmes. I live in Hong Kong.

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:


Now, after 20 years of not playing games, I’m getting into them again and exploring how they can 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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog Stats

  • 5,868 hits