Digital Technologies Week 9 – 6th March 2018

The focus of today’s session was the use of games based learning within the classroom.

The Higher Education Academy website states that “digital Games-based Learning is the integration of gaming into learning experiences to increase engagement and motivation.”

Firstly, in today’s session we were asked to make a mind map about why games based learning is an effective tool to use in education. Some of the examples that myself and my group included in this was that games based learning is engaging and highly motivational and that it grabs the leaners attention.

The Higher Education Academy website also states that “theorists Jean Piaget and Leonard Vygotsky have argued that play is a crucial component of cognitive development from birth and through adulthood. ” This confirms that young learners must experience play in order to enhance their cognitive development. It also highlights that it is vital for us as educators to include games based learning within our classrooms to ensure that pupils are able to develop most effectively.

However, although games based learning can be beneficial in classrooms there may be some potential challenges as explained by Learning and Teaching Scotland:

  • ›Identifying a suitable game / part of a game
  • ›Integrating the game – time/structure of the day
  • ›Teacher confidence/skills
  • ›Assessment – nature of traditional assessments – conducive to assessing digital technology
  • ›Resources/budget

 

Today’s session was to include an experience of playing and gaining knowledge from the Wii game Mario Kart. However, due to technical issues this could not be carried out. Instead, we designed our own Mario karts and our own characters. This activity could be carried out with learners as part of an art lesson. It could also be carried out through a literacy lesson as the pupils would be able to write several sentences describing their kart and character. During today’s input, we were also asked to create a mind map with different curricular areas and below each one a list of lessons that could be carried out involving the Wii game Mario Kart. For example, below the curricular area of art we had a lesson which consisted of pupils designing their own race track and designing tickets and merchandise for anyone who was coming to view a Mario Kart race. We also thought of the pupils recreating the Mario Kart theme song as part of a music lesson. The experiences and outcomes for some of the different lessons that myself and my group listed in our mind map are as follows:

  • I can use my voice, musical instruments and music technology to experiment with sounds, pitch, melody, rhythm, timbre and dynamics. EXA 2-17a
  • Through observing and recording from my experiences across the curriculum, I can create images and objects which show my awareness and recognition of detail. EXA 2-04a

In conclusion, I feel that games based learning is a very important concept that should be used frequently in schools. It allows children to be expressive and creative. Games based learning allows children to improve their cognitive development through play. Children find these experiences motivational and it allows them to reinforce their knowledge of digital technology. Games based learning is a cross-curricular applicaton. Today’s session allowed me to understand how games based learning was embedded into lessons and I will now take this knowledge with me through my teaching career. As I already have first hand knowledge of games based learning, more specifically Mario Kart, I plan to inlcude this in my lessons in the future.

References

Higher Education Academy (2015) – Gamification and Games-Based Learning [Online] https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/gamification-and-games-based-learning [Accessed on 6th March 2018]

Learning, Teaching Scotland (2010) – FutureLab – The Impact of Console Games in the Classroom [Online] https://www.nfer.ac.uk/publications/FUTL25/FUTL25.pdf [Accessed on 6th March 2018)

 

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