Week 9 of our Digital Technologies module and the session today introduced the topic of game based learning and how this affects younger generations. At the moment online gaming is the most popular thing for younger people to be involved in so this session was very important as it showed us many ways in how we could protect our younger people from the dangers presented online. This can be backed up by the Ofcom Report as it states there are high amounts of pupils from both 5-7 and 8-11 years old that use any one form of gaming on a daily basis (Ofcom Report,2011).
Game based learning in a classroom environment can be used for many different things. It allows teachers to engage with pupils in a form that they are fully aware of. Game based learning allows pupils to be more motivated and engaged with tasks given by their teacher as it is a hands on activity which allows them to think of possible strategies they will use in order to conclude the task (Shan, 2015).
At this current time, teachers use games as a reward for pupils in the classroom for when they have completed a certain task for example. Bray disagrees with this method as games based learning should be used a new way of learning within the classroom and should begin to involve it in education as it opens up to so many new skills and opportunities for the younger generation whilst doing something that they actually enjoy (Bray,2012).
Many benefits come alongside game based learning. They allow teachers or parents to be in full control of which games they want their pupils or children to be involved with in regards to education. It is important that we as teachers are fully aware of how these games actually work and also come to terms with how we actually want younger generations to use these games (Beauchamp,2012).
Online gaming comes with many online dangers and as a teacher it is important that although pupils are engaged in your activity and are enjoying it, it is our responsibility that pupils are fully aware of the dangers that could be involved and also how to report an issue that they are not comfortable with.
From the session today, our focus was on the use of minecraft and how it could actually be beneficial for younger people. Minecraft was introduced in 2009 and since then it completely grasped the attention of all the younger people. It gave them the opportunity to build things such as a house or a town etc. Minecraft was a game I had never came across in my younger years so I took it upon myself to investigate if it actually was beneficial.
In educational purposes minecraft can allow pupils to gain a large variety of new skills. These may include:
- Problem solving
- Enhances life skills
- Self direction (Aurora, 2016)
Our task in the session was to create and complete an IDL project that could be used within the classroom. We decided to go with landmarks all around the world. It allowed us to focus on second level learning. Areas to look at whilst doing the project would be architecture, landmarks, history and geography.
This project would cover 4 different subject areas such as expressive arts, literacy, maths and social studies.Linking it with Curriculum for Excellence there were a few Experiences and outcomes that we linked together with our IDL project. These included for example:
SOC 2-16C ~ I can discuss issues of the diversity and cultures, values and customs in our society.
LIT 2-06A ~ I can select ideas and relevant information, organise them in appropriate ways for my purpose and use suitable vocab for my audience.
We decided to do this type of project as we wanted pupils to research the given landmarks and find information on them and discover when they were made and where they are etc. The next step would be to create a factfile and then choose 1 out the 6 buildings to then create the building on minecraft allowing them to put their own spin on how the building looks. This would then give them an opportunity to practise their presentation skills as they would then present their ideas to the rest of their peers demonstrating their factfiles and also their version of the building they had created on minecraft.
Shown below is the lesson plan we had used in order to make sure all areas were covered and that we used the correct experiences and outcomes for the pupils to be a part of.
I would continue to use games based learning in the classroom as it is a great opportunity to allow teachers to use learning but in a different format and it is an area that pupils are fully engaged with. It is also a great idea for bigger projects to be created and completed in a more fun and engaging format. I thoroughly enjoyed planning and working on this session today as although it was something I had never used before, I did become fully interacted with it and I enjoyed sitting and planning out a possible lesson that could be completed with the use of game based learning.
One thing I really enjoyed from this session was that once everyone had concluded their task we were given the opportunity to present our final ideas to the rest of our peers. This was really useful as it allowed us to have a look at what other groups had completed and what ideas they had used.
Aurora (2016). The Educational Benefits of Minecraft.[Online] Available: https://www.idtech.com/blog/educational-benefits-minecraft. [Accessed: 5th March 2019]
Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary School: From Pedagogy to Practice. Pearson.
Bray, O. (2012) Playful Learning: Computer Games in Education. [Online] https://www.slideshare.net/Microsofteduk/playful-learning-computer-games-in-education [Accessed: 5TH March 2019]
Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes, Ofcom (2001) [Online] Available: https://www.slideshare.net/Microsofteduk/playful-learning-computer-games-in-education.[Accessed: 5th March 2019].
Gen Shan, L. (2015) The Benefits of Game Based Learning.[Online] Available: https://leaderonomics.com/functional/benefits-of-gbl [Accessed: 8th April 2019]