Today in digital technologies we were studying the idea of games-based learning within the classroom and how this could enhance understanding for the children. This week is linked vaguely to last weeks as they were both surrounding lessons involving a game to enhance further learning. This week however it was based upon Minecraft for the iPad. I was a little more apprehensive about this weeks input as I have never used this app before and had no idea how it worked. This session however was very different from any other we have completed, as our lecturer got in contact with a school that had a group of digital leaders who came along and enlightened us on how this application has benefitted their learning. The ability to work with these children was very helpful for me as it was good to discuss their own opinions on the software and what skills they learned using it within the school. The children brought along their work that they had completed in the class which was based upon a Harry Potter theme. They let us explore their worlds that they had created, and our challenge for the university students was to work in teams to create another aspect for their world without the children physically doing this for us. This was a very interesting experience as we were able to feel what it was like for brand new learners of the software, the obstacles they had to overcome and then getting to see our final product.
According to the Ofcom Report (2011) it claims that “gaming is hugely popular in the UK with almost 86% of 5-7 year old children and 90% of 8-11 year old children using gaming devices regularly”. This shows that the use of games-based learning is very beneficial for children as they can use their knowledge both at home and in then classroom. This provides a very strong link between home and school life and gives children the ability to involve parents in their learning and progress of certain skills within the classroom.
Beauchamp (2012) states that the type of skills that could be developed by ICT games include; strategic thinking, planning, communication, application of numbers, negotiating skills, group decision-making and data handling skills. All of these skills are very important to a child’s development when growing up in the 21st century and can be used when they begin a job in their future.
Within the CfE using Minecraft can achieve the Experience and Outcome “I can explore and experiment with digital technologies and can use what I learn to support and enhance my learning in different contexts, TCH 1-01a”. This shows that although this is a technology-based game, it can however be adapted and used for many different curricular areas therefore covering a larger variety of CfE outcomes depending on the subject.
Overall, I really enjoyed this session of digital technologies as we were able to see more of the theories in practice and got to hear first-hand what children in the 21st century think of more games-based learning in classrooms. I found this beneficial and also enjoyable as it was a very fun session allowing our imaginations to run wild when creating another building in the Minecraft world. This is something I would love to consider using within the classroom as I progress further to become a student teacher.
Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary Classroom: From Pedagogy top Practice. Pearson.
Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes, Ofcom (2001)
Curriculum for Excellence