The topic of discussion today in Digital Technologies was about Games-based Learning and why we should be using it in schools. In addition to this, we looked at the video game Mario Kart. It was a game I played throughout my childhood, so it was very familiar to me. We created our own Mario character and our own kart too. We also created a mind map of the positive effects of Games-based Learning in the classroom. This was followed by an Interdisciplinary Learning plan where we came up with activities that could be used in the classroom, based on Mario Kart. Our Mario kart with a rocket exhaust and had pizza wheels. We based our activities on the pizza wheels and related them to areas of the curriculum. Our maths activity was based on fractions of the pizza, where they would be asked questions like “If someone ate 1/8th of a pizza, how many 8ths are left?” They had to research the recipe using the search engine on the internet and then write down the recipe structured the way a recipe should be. This involved digital and literacy skills. Finally, we would get them to make a pizza which would link into Health and Wellbeing area of the Curriculum. Whilst finding the experience and outcomes of these tasks, I found that some of them overlapped. For example, maths was also used in the weighing and measuring of the ingredients. This would also cover the weight and measure experience and outcome.
Digital Games-based Learning is defined as “ the integration of gaming into learning experiences to increase engagement and motivation” (Higher Education Academy, 2017). From personal experience of growing up around video games, I think it is engaging and is something that children would enjoy as it is something that I enjoy. My initial thought was that games based learning might not be really effective tool for the classroom, as it may be a distraction. However, after discussing and reading in detail on the use of games-based learning, I found that there are many advantages of using it in the classroom. Some of these advantages include an increase in motivation, reinforces knowledge, it is enjoyable, engaging and will grab children’s attention. “Like novels, films, plays and other media, games can be high quality materials a teacher uses to enable students to access the curriculum” (Edutopia, 2016). Game-based Learning is another useful and interesting tool that can be used effectively in the class and can link to many experiences and outcomes from the Curriculum for Excellence.
Computing started in the 1980s and when the internet came along in the 1990s, it allowed children to play in the form of video and computer games (Higher Education Academy, 2017). However, the transition of using Games-based Learning in classrooms is moving slowly. This could be down to the fact that teachers do not have the confidence to use video games as part of their lesson. Jean Piaget and Leonard Vygotsky suggest that play is a vital part of cognitive development throughout someone’s entire life (Higher Education Academy, 2017). It is important that as teachers we are clear about what the learning intentions are and also that we implement games and the discussion around them. In addition to this, appropriate and relevant games must be used for the tasks to achieve the outcomes (Learning and Teaching Scotland). We are role models for our pupils, therefore we must ensure that game-based learning has positive impacts on their social skills, enhances their learning, supports and develops learning and that they are given the opportunity to apply those skills.
After today’s session, my opinion has changed about the use of video/ computer games in the classroom. I have increased my understanding and knowledge into how game-based learning can have positive effects on the children and their learning. It is important to keep them engaged, so they can develop their skills. This also has benefits for teachers, as there are many activities that can be planned around a video game. One activity can cross many curricular areas in the Curriculum for Excellence. Overall, I think classrooms need to use this resource more often.
Experiences and Outcomes for this resource:
“I can share out a group of items by making smaller groups. I can split a whole object into smaller parts.” MNU 0-07a
“Through exploring how groups of items can be shared equally, I can find a fraction of an amount by applying my knowledge of division.” MNU 1-07b
“I have experimented with everyday items as units of measure to investigate and compare sizes and amounts in my environment, sharing my findings with others.” MNU 0-11a
“I can present my writing in a way that will make it legible and attractive for my reader, combining words, images and other features.” LIT 1-24a
“I enjoy eating a diversity of foods in a range of social situations. ”
HWB 0-29a / HWB 1-29a / HWB 2-29a
“I experience a sense of enjoyment and achievement when preparing simple healthy foods and drinks.” HWB 1-30b
“I can use digital technologies to explore how to search and find information.” TCH 0-02a
Education Scotland (2009) Curriculum for Excellence.[Online] https://education.gov.scot/Documents/all-experiences-and-outcomes.pdf [Accessed: 6th March]
Edutopia (2016) 3 Ways to Use Game-Based Learning. [Online] https://www.edutopia.org/article/3-ways-use-game-based-learning-matthew-farber [Accessed:6th March 2018]
Higher Education Academy (2017) Gamification and Games-Based Learning. [Online]https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/gamification-and-games-based-learning [Accessed: 6th March 2018]
Learning and Teaching Scotland