As an opening activity in INF541, we have been asked to create a statement about our current knowledge and understanding of game-based learning. I would have say that I feel my use of game-based learning and understanding of the potential of games for learning is quite limited. Just as Griffith University professor of education Dr Catherine Beavis identified that schools still have a way to go before they can harness the full educational potential of video games (Jennings, 2012), so too do I.
What is the context of your learning?
As a Teacher-Librarian and Curriculum Leader in a secondary school setting, I am looking forward to being immersed in Game-Based Learning (GBL):
- for professional growth;
- to explore the research on why educators believe it is necessary to incorporate games, game design and programming into contemporary education and investigate how they are going about doing this;
- to spend time playing games;
- in order to better understand and prepare students for work, study and life in modern society, by learning if and how games can build critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity; and
- to mentor, resource and support colleagues to experiment with GBL in their own classrooms.
What are your personal aims in this subject?
My personal aims for participating in the subject INF541 – Game Based Learning are to investigate what games are currently being used for learning, to try out playing some of these games and to think about how I might use these games in my own classroom. The hope is that I too will experience being a learner who is building capacity in critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. Participation in GBL, will be an experience in the “new culture of learning” which is described by Thomas and Seely Brown (2011) as a necessity for understanding the skills, mindsets and dispositions required for academic and career success in today’s climate.
How do you see game-based learning fitting into your practice?
According to the Australian Library and Information Association (ASLA), the role of the teacher-librarian is three fold: curriculum leader; information specialist; and information services manager. It might be argued that undertaking a course in game-based learning fits into a teacher-librarian’s professional practice because it meets the following criteria where ASLA stipulate a teacher-librarian must:
- raise staff awareness of the need for students to acquire information skills and of the importance of resource-based learning in developing these skills;
- maintain literacy as a high priority, engaging students in reading, viewing and listening for understanding and enjoyment;
- interpret information systems and technologies for students and teachers in the context of curriculum programs;
- provide specialist assistance to students using the school information service facility for independent reading, viewing and listening. (Australian Library and Information Association, 2014).
What challenges are you hoping to meet for yourself?
Due to my very limited experience with gamed-based learning, INF541 is one subject that will take me out of my comfort zone, expand my knowledge of research into the efficacy of gaming in education and extend my pedagogical practice. In How games prepare you for life – Education: 21st Century, we are told that games will fail to impact on the lives of young people unless they can make the connection that lessons learned in games are applicable to life. Schools too, we are told, will only harness the potential of games for learning when teachers make the knowledge learned in games meaningful. (Extra Credits, 2014) It is a key goal that I will be on the path to becoming a teacher who enables these lessons by the conclusion of this semester.
Australian School Library Association. (2004, December). Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians. Retrieved July 25, 2015, from http://www.asla.org.au/policy/standards.aspx
Extra Credits (Director). (2014, May 14). How games prepare you for life – Education: 21st Century [Video file]. Retrieved March 7, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hoeAmqwvyY
Jennings, J. (2014, November 30). Teachers re-evaluate value of video games. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved March 7, 2016, from http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/teachers-reevaluate-value-of-video-games-20141110-11jw0i
Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, KY: CreateSpace?