Reflection 1.2 Communicating the use of games in learning
(a) How will you communicate to colleagues, parents and students what you mean by game-based learning? Write a short statement that outlines your own approach to game-based learning which sets out your approach using key words and phrases which help focus the reader on your use of games in learning.
Society has changed and as a result so have the children in our classroom. Young people are far less patient, being used to and demanding instant feedback and constant gratification. They don’t have to wait for their favourite show to appear in the TV Guide, all they do is download or stream it when they want and where they want. Education has failed to keep pace with this changing culture. We are too often still stuck in a style of education designed to prepare the population for the industrial revolution.
In the 21st century student need to learn a different set of skills. According to The Partnership for 21st century Learning, the key skills and knowledge students need to succeed in work life and citizenship are:
- Content knowledge and 21st century themes- including global awareness, health and financial literacy, environmental and civic literacy
- Learning and Innovation skills- including creativity and innovation, problem solving and critical thinking and communication and collaboration
- Information and media technology skills
- Life and career skills- including flexibility, initiative, socio and cross cultural skills, productivity and accountability and finally leadership
Games can go a long way to motivating and engaging students because they are the discourse of this generation. Games give rise to people who explore, collaborate and communicate, they give them concrete experience of problem solving in a self-guided and supportive environment. In games failure is okay, it’s part of the learning process.
James Gee (Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnEN2Sm4IIQ) explains the concept that, “Comprehension is grounded in perceptual simulations that prepare agents for action” ( Bassoult,1999, p77) He says that humans understand something by being able to run a simulation of images in their head. The problem with current learning is we give the students the information without giving them the experience to enable comprehension. He likens it to giving students the manual without giving them the game.
Games are good for learners because they are interactive, they put the learner in control, they can simulate complex situations and operations and they provide the instant feedback this generation demands.
Reflection 1.2 (b)
What are you hoping to do with games in your teaching space in the near future?
I am beginning to realise the vast potential of games in the learning space, which to date I have largely neglected. I have dabbled with games of the quiz sort but not really for any rich or meaningful learning. I have very strict limitations about what I can do regarding curriculum, as do most teachers, so my starting point will have to be to research possible games, consider their application and then approach leadership with some informed suggestions. I will need to have all my ducks in a row if I am to be able to implement big changes and this may take time and persistence. So in the meantime on a smaller scale, I believe I could use maybe gamify the learning process, maybe still do the content and curriculum in the “usual” way but maybe using Class Dojo, to encourage participation, positive behaviour and engagement. Its early days, not sure yet!
Gee, J. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnEN2Sm4IIQ
P21 Partnership for 21st century learning, 2011. Framework for 21st century learning. Retrieved from http://www.p21.org/our-work/p21-framework