Are digital games being overlooked in the education reform? Blog Task 1
In short, the answer to the question, “Are digital games being overlooked in education reform?” is, yes. Games seem to have so many obvious benefits for preparing young people for the 21st century but yet the time to adoption seems to be very slow.
I was trained to believe that my role was solely to impart knowledge. Traditionally teachers were considered the holders of knowledge, and that knowledge was a distinct set of “correct” facts which the teacher imparted to the students. (Woods, 2014). Technology has changed society. The job of educators has changed and perhaps we are now more learning managers than teachers. Learning should not just involve those “correct facts” anymore, learning should be about those 21st century and employability skills.
Games have the potential to prepare students for the rapidly changing world. We have seen how highly motivating games can be, we just need to find ways to incorporate that into education. Part of the challenge is overcoming the perception that games don’t teach anything and have nothing of value to offer. Digital games, as opposed to traditional games enable the player to alter the world around them and their situation in it. (Becker, 2011) In order to achieve this successfully, the player is using and developing the ability to communicate and collaborate, they are problem solving, learning to persevere when trying to “level up”, and developing enhanced knowledge acquisition skills. This is rich learning which can genuinely prepare students for success in society.
As games and gaming appear to have arrived on the educational-technology agenda, how do you see them fitting into your practice?
Despite all the research and information out there to support the use of games, teachers and administration are skeptical. We need to overcome the stigma perpetuated by the media that games have a negative influence on our students. We unfortunately have to be concerned about standardised testing, time constraints, timetables, and outdated requirements and expectations from governing bodies. As Jesse Schell says in the Big Think presentation, Playing games in the Classroom,”playing games is a powerful tool but they don’t fit well into our education system”.
What is the context of your learning?
Teaching in a trade college, my audience are young people who are completing their year 12 while seeking or participating in an apprenticeship. Hence the benefit of developing those employability skills through games is hugely attractive
What are your personal aims in this subject?
I NEED to learn to play and understand digital games, I need to become familiar with the terminology and the practice. I can’t use them effectively until I have actively engaged myself.
What challenges are you hoping to meet for yourself?
The reason that I have overlooked games is that I don’t have the knowledge or the confidence to use them. Donahoo says, “Inspiring or convincing teachers of the benefit of digital games is easy but we need to guide them to resources that will help them understand how to implement it in meaningful ways” (Donahoo,2013)
I NEED to up-skill myself so that I have the confidence to use games to prepare my students better, for the real world
Becker, K. (2011). Distinctions between games and learning: A review of current literature on games in education. In Gaming and Simulations: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools and Applications
Donahoo, D (2013). NMC Red Archive. Retrieved from http://redarchive.nmc.org/news/curating-way-we-teach-games
EF Explore America. (2012, March 15)What is 21st century learning [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ax5cNlutAys
Schell, J, Playing games in the classroom. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bA7KuOyH3PQ
Woods, N. (2014). Describing discourse: A practical guide to discourse analysis. USA: Routledge.