Today within digital technologies we explored games based learning. With Games-based learning “students are provided with a game filled experience driven by play” (Farber, M 2016) At first we created a mind map in a small group of what we thought the positives and negatives of games based learning was. Some examples we put down were; links to the curriculum, engagement with others, creativity is involved and is relevant to children’s lives.
After further reading we then added to our mind map of the positives of games based learning this included; it not always teacher led, it can links to cross curricular activities such as literacy, maths and art. We also included that it encourages children to look at things differently.
Learning Teaching Scotland (2010 pg. 12) say that “Over the past decade, the use of digital gaming in education has prompted considerable attention in exploring how and why games might be powerful tools in the classroom. As a result of this interest, there is a considerable body of literature available on game-based learning in the classroom and the potential benefits of this for education and learning.”
When developing my knowledge I found that there is a history behind games based learning “The link between learning and playing is longstanding and predates the digital era by thousands of years (Higher Education Academy 2015). Theorists Jean Piaget and Leonard Vygotsky have argued that play is a an important part of brain development from birth and throughout adulthood (Higher Education Academy 2015). I think that play stimulates childrens minds as it encourages them to think actively instead of being at a desk writing on a piece of paper and play is interactive so it allows children to interact with their peers. Higher Education Academy (2015) says that the advent of computing (1980) and the internet (1990) created many opportunities for ‘play’ in the form of video and computer games. It also says that “Games-based learning is the integration of going into learning experiences to increase engagement and motivation” (Higher Education Academy 2015).
For today’s session we were to explore the Nintendo Wii and experience the game of Mario Kart although the lecturer was unable to find the wire to connect the WII so instead we watched a video of Mario Kart and then created our own Character and car to replace the exploration of the Wii. I already had previous experience with the Wii therefore I had an idea of what Mario Kart looked like and had the opportunity to explore the Wii when I was younger. The character I drew was Mickey Mouse, Mickey had a red an white convertible that had great speed and handling with a poor acceleration rate.
We then worked within a small group to create an Interdisciplinary Learning plan (IDL) to show the number of curricular areas that game-based learning can cross. The plan was based on Mario Kart. The ideas we came up with linked to the Curriculum for Excellence through Art, Drama, Numeracy, Literacy and Technology. Our art ideas included creating a garage, race track, tickets, the car and the character who was racing. The outcome this linked to; “I have the opportunity to choose and explore an extended range of media and technologies to create images and objects, comparing and combining them for tasks (EXA 2-02a)”(Education Scotland 2004) . The technology idea that we came up with was to create an iMovie trailer to introduce the race and the characters. The outcome this linked to; “I can explore and experiment with digital technologies and can use what I learn to support and enhance leaning in different contexts (TCH 1-01a)” (Education Scotland 2004) . The idea for literacy was to create a description of characters and the cars that were used through use of adjectives. The outcome this linked to; “By considering the type of text I am creating I can select ideas and relevant information and organise these in a logical sequence and use words which will be interesting and/or useful to others (LIT 1-26a)” (Education Scotland 2004).
I was surprised when I considered how many areas across the curriculum that Games-Based learning can fit in to. This made me consider using it within my future teaching career as a topic of the children’s learning.
The benefits of Games-Based Learning are; increase of motivation, attention grabbing. recall of information, reinforcing knowledge and that it is stress free and pleasurable. The potential challenges for teachers are: it could be challenging identifying a suitable game or part of a game, integrating the game into time and structure of daily planning. The teachers confidence and skills on computers and the use of resources. The school budget may also be a challenge. A potential challenge could also be linking the game to a specific area within the curriculum (Learning and Teaching Scotland 2010, pg. 20)
As role models teachers must ensure that game based learning has a positive impact on social skills, that it supports and enhances learning, it develops skills and provides opportunities to apply skills.
I think that games based learning is a tool worth taking into my future career as it would engage children in many different ways and it links to consoles that they may play at home such as the Xbox, Wii and Playstation. The children may have more knowledge of the game than me but it is nothing to be embarrassed about because I could learn more about the game from them and then include it in a range of areas within the curriculum. It enables children to interact with each other and allows them to increase in depth knowledge of what a game could add to their learning. It also encourages children to be interactive, working in teams and collaborating a range of ideas into one. It allows the children to use their imagination.
Education Scotland (2004) – Curriculum for Excellence; Experiences and Outcomes [Online] https://education.gov.scot/scottish-education-system/policy-for-scottish-education/policy-drivers/cfe-(building-from-the-statement-appendix-incl-btc1-5)/Experiences%20and%20outcomes [Accessed on 6th March 2018]
Farber, M (2016) Edutopia – 3 Ways to use Game-Based Learning [Online] https://www.edutopia.org/article/3-ways-use-game-based-learning-matthew-farber [Accessed on 6th March 2018]
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)