With gaming being so popular nowadays, Professor Henry James (2012) states that, “Computer games are the most powerful learning tool of our age.” In order to raise attainment levels and engage learners this could be a crucial development. Most children engage with computer games from a young age, so games being used within education could be helpful in allowing children to relate to the material. Having been on placement and witnessed games based learning in one of the classes, it was easy to see how much the pupils benefitted from the experience.
Although, one of the challenges around games based learning is that most of the educational games are not up to much. They have either been made by people within education so the quality of the game is poor or they have been created by gaming providers and so the level of educational content needed for classrooms is not acceptable. Using big commercial games used correctly can aide lessons by either acting as a stimulus or hub. According to Lord David Puttnam (2012), ” What is being spoke about is computer games not just as games, but as a whole new learning form or platform of learning and one that has quite literally, unlimited learning potential.”
ICT games such as Minecraft can be effectively used within school to help develop skills strategic thinking, communication, group decision making and data handling skills (Beauchamp, 2012). We were able to witness this first hand during the session. Our lecturer had invited pupils from a nearby school who were digital leaders. They had been working on creating parts of the Harry Potter world within Minecraft. They came in and showed us what they had created and gave us a chance to use the iPads and create elements in our own world. I was apprehensive about this because whilst I had heard of Minecraft, I had never actually used it, But, after the pupils had showed us the basics, the game itself was simple enough to use.
Speaking to the class teacher also inspired and encouraged me to use games based learning within my own classroom as she herself was not confident within using Minecraft because once she has started getting to grips with how the game worked, she found it easy to incorporate into her lessons and spread it across different curricular areas. It was really interesting to see how quickly they were able to work and how engaged the children were with game and their topic.
Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary Classroom: From Pedagogy top Practice. Pearson.
Puttnam, L. D. (2012) Playful Learning: Computer Games in Education. [Online] https://www.slideshare.net/Microsofteduk/playful-learning-computer-games-in-education [Accessed: 10.4.18]
James, P.H (2012) Playful Learning: Computer Games in Education. [Online] https://www.slideshare.net/Microsofteduk/playful-learning-computer-games-in-education [Accessed: 10.4.18]