Digital Technology Week 9 – Games-Based Learning

Digital Technology Week 9 – Games-Based Learning

This weeks workshop was based on Games-Based Learning and how that can be integrated in the most effective way into the classroom. We specifically looked at The Nintendo Wii and the game Mario Kart. Due to circumstances we didn’t get the chance to play this game during the input, but I have had a lot of experience with this game at home and I am very familiar with it.

“Digital Games-based Learning is the integration of gaming into learning experiences to increase engagement and motivation.” (Higher Education Academy website). This clearly explains what the integration of games into the classrooms means. When I was in school I never knew of such a thing as games-based learning the only way technology was used in my class was at specific times for ICT when we got to use the computers in the computer suite.

We started off the workshop making a poster of a mind map that was all to do with what benefits there are to applying games-based learning in our classrooms. My partner and I included:

·         Increased creativity

·         Encourages team work

·         Can be cross curricular

·         Modern – it encourages the use of technology in different formats

·         Lots of different tasks can be done on the one topic area

·         Keeps the children engaged

“The link between learning and playing is longstanding and predates the digital era by thousands of years.” (Higher Education Academy website). This explains overall the main reason this way of learning is being used and how it is helping teachers in schools become more modern and bring their learning and home life together making the children enjoy their learning.

We referred to Beauchamp who said that the five aspects that games-based learning should include is:

            – has a positive impact on social skills

            – supports learning

            – enhances learning

            – develops skills

            – provides opportunities to apply skills

I feel that in my pair we covered most of these points in our mind map in different ways. I think that these five aspects are the right headings for what the benefits/needs of this way of teaching in a classroom.

A task that we did do in the workshop was to design and draw our own Mario Kart character and Kart that we would love to be included in the game. This activity could easily be done in a classroom setting with any ages as part of an art and design lesson. It could also be taken further by the children creating their Kart in 3D using varied materials. “Like novels, films, plays and other media, games can be high quality materials a teacher uses to enable students to access the curriculum.” (Edutopia website). This refers to the fact that the one topic can be cross curricular and, in the end, cover a lot of experiences and outcomes required by the ages of the children.

We then, after doing some reading and looking into the topic, added things to our mind map that we hadn’t included initially such as:

·         Share Knowledge of Home/own learning

·         Self-directed learning

·         Recall of information

·         Stress-free and pleasurable

·         Reinforce knowledge

·         Helps social skills

The main task for todays input was to make a poster/mind map including different topic areas that could be covered using Mario Kart in the classroom. Under these heading we included lessons that could be made up for that curricular area and the experiences and outcomes that would be covered completing that specific lesson. I have attached bellow a picture of our poster that included all the ideas we could come up with on the use of games in the class.

The only problem with games-based learning is when the teacher cannot use them effectively and to the best of its advantage. Specific things according to learning and Teaching Scotland that the teacher must abide by to ensure a controlled class, include, ensuring effective implementation of games and be clear about learning intentions and be selective only use parts of the game relevant to meeting the intended outcome such as only showing the children the character slide when completing the art activity explained before.

Overall, I love the idea of using games in the classroom such as/especially Mario Kart. Mainly because I am so familiar with the game I would feel especially comfortable using it and teaching the children about it compared to other games I may have never seen before. I am sure I will use games-based learning in my classes in the future.

References

·         Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary Classroom: From Pedagogy top Practice. Pearson.

·         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. (2010) The impact of console games in the classroom. [online] Available: https://www.nfer.ac.uk/publications/FUTL25/FUTL25.pdf [Accessed: 6th March 2018]

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