WEEK 9 – 5th March 2019
During this week’s input, we looked into using games to learn within the classroom. As aspiring teachers, we need to be aware of what’s going on in our pupil’s life, in and out of the classroom. According to a recent report in 2011, gaming is hugely popular in the UK with almost 86% of 5-7 year olds and 90% of 8-11 year olds using gaming devices regularly. (Ofcom Report, 2011) I knew that games were a massive part of young people’s lives, however, I am still shocked by these statistics. The use of computer games, truly are firmly embedded in 21stcentury youth culture.
As a student teacher, I am looking to use computer games to my advantage to create fun lessons that all pupils will engage with. It is stated that games based learning has the most transformational impact when it is combined with good learning and teaching. (Bray, 2012) As a result, teachers are required to “be familiar with the games, they also have to ensure that they make clear the way in which they want for the game to be used.” (Beauchamp, 2012, p.9) We also have to be aware of the skills that could be developed as a result of bringing games into the classroom, which are believed to be:
- Strategic Thinking
- Application of numbers
- Negotiating Skills
- Group decision-making
- Data Handling Skills
After a general discussion about games based learning, we went on to look at Minecraft. “Minecraft is a worldwide phenomenon. Since it was first released back in 2011, it’s been taken to the hearts of thousands and thousands of gamers.” (How to do Everything in Minecraft, 2014, p.3) Previously to this input, I didn’t have any knowledge about Minecraft or how it worked. I remember when I was younger my cousins used to play it on the Xbox but I was never interested.
In groups we looked closely at linking Minecraft into a lesson in the classroom. After some discussion, we came up with the idea of creating a famous historical monument. The first thing we done was try to look at how this lesson will develop the childrens learning. We then realised the links between this activity and literacy, because, the pupils will be required to make a fact file/report on their chosen landmark.
Our next step was to plan the lesson, for which we were given a sheet with different areas to fill in.To start our lesson, we thought it would be a good idea to set up different stations in the class with different landmarks for the children to choose. This way they are given a choice, but there is still teacher input on it to ensure it doesn’t get out of hand. The pupils are then required to research their chosen landmark and create a fact file around It, including all relevant information about the buildings surroundings and materials that were used to build it. The next step would be to go on Minecraft and create the landmark.
To ensure our lesson had value to the pupils, we looked into curricular areas that our idea linked with:
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 specific tastes.
I can select ideas and relevant information, organise them into appropriate ways for my purpose and use suitable vocabulary for my audience.
I have worked with others to explore and present our findings on how maths impacts on the world and the important part it has played in advances and inventions.
I can discuss issues of the diversity of cultures, values and customs in our society.
Overall, I really enjoyed working with Minecraft and it opened up a whole new area of teaching for me. Prior to this input, I never thought games like Minecraft would have had any educational benefit for pupils. Therefore, I am really looking forward to exploring this more and coming up with other ideas of how I can bring this into the classroom.
Bray, O. (2012) Playful Learning: Computer Games in Education. [Online] https://www.slideshare.net/Microsofteduk/playful-learning-computer-games-in-education[Accessed: 2.3.18]
Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary Classroom: From Pedagogy top Practice. Pearson.