During today’s input, we were continuing to discuss games-based learning, however, this time with Minecraft as a stimulus for learning.
A study by Ofcom (2011) highlights that 86% of five to seven year olds and eight to eleven year olds use gaming devices frequently. This conveys how influential gaming is to the next generation of young people and how it can impact on their daily lives. The gaming world is expanding at a vast past and in order to keep up with this demand, schools must try to incorporate gaming into the curriculum. Gaming allows lessons to be interactive and creates a positive environment within the classroom.
Bray (2012) states that in a classroom setting, games should not just be used as rewards or for entertainment but as a whole new approach to learning. This statement is important in justifying that gaming should be integrated into lessons and not only for enjoyment. Gaming should be used in the classroom as it can be introduced into various topics and throughout different areas of the curriculum. Bray (2012) continues to support games-based learning as he states that Games-based Learning has the most transformational impact when it is combined with good learning and teaching. This suggests that games-based learning has a great potential to impact on learners and this is a resource that could allow young people to engage in learning and to create positive experiences.
Some people may state that there is a lot of worry and confusion with regards to teachers using games-based learning within their lessons. This may be due to them not having a full experience of games-based learning or simply because they are unsure of how to use it. However, Beauchamp (2012, p.10) states that “…achieving particular educational objectives through the use of the game was more dependent upon a teacher’s knowledge of the curriculum with which they were working than it was on their ability with the game.” This is vital as it effectively highlights that the teachers knowledge of games-based learning does not need to be perfect in order for the learners to benefit from using games-based learning within the classroom.
Students from a local primary school joined us in today’s session to help us gain a better understanding of the game Minecraft. In their school, they had been working on and creating their own worlds within Minecraft and they were very pleased to show us what they had been creating. It was very fascinating to see all of the different things that could be achieved through the game and how all of the pupils could interact using the game. During the session, us as the student teachers were able to have a try at navigating through Minecraft with the help of the primary students. This was a fantastic experience as all of the pupils were very eager to help us and they were extremely understanding of our abilities. I was a little apprehensive at first as I had never experienced Minecraft before, however, the pupils were very helpful in guiding me. It was clear that the primary school students were enjoying this experience as much as we did as they could be the teachers rather than the pupils. Towards the end of the session, I was able to create my own house which consisted of two levels. This was a particularly good achievement for me after never having experienced the game before. Several of the experiences and outcomes that are aimed at today’s session are as follows:
- I can extend and enhance my design skills to solve problems and can construct models. TCH 2-09a
- I can convey information, describe events, explain processes or combine ideas in different ways. LIT 2-28a
Overall, today’s session was extremely beneficial and enjoyable for me. I learned a lot from today’s session and I plan to embed games-based learning into my teaching as I am now a lot more comfortable with how to integrate the resource into lessons. I believe that the primary school students also benefitted from today’s session and it was clear that they felt a sense of achievement when the session was complete. Games-based learning is a fantastic resource that should be used in the classroom to allow learners to be creative and interactive. This resource creates endless opportunities and I look forward to using it throughout my teaching practice.
Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary Classroom: From Pedagogy top Practice. Pearson.
Bray, O. (2012) Playful Learning: Computer Games in Education. [Online] https://www.slideshare.net/Microsofteduk/playful-learning-computer-games-in-education [Accessed 13th March 2018]