Assessment 2: INF541 Online Reflective Journal Blog Task 2

How might games be used to develop a more socially inclusive classroom or workplace using Gee’s viewpoint?

Gee, J.P. (2005). Good video games and good learning. Phi Kappa Phi Forum,  85(2), 33-37. http://dmlcentral.net/sites/dmlcentral/files/resource_files/GoodVideoGamesLearning.pdf

 

Gaming often has this portrayal of being an isolating activity, teenagers in their bedrooms spending hours playing PS4/XBOX/PC games, only emerging when food is required or they have to get up to go to school. This popular myth is being challenged by a range of scholarly work highlighting the impact of gaming for learning and creation of socially cooperative learning environments. These gaming environments are breaking down the stereotypes through the demonstration of 21st-century skills that they offer.

 

The Four Cs of 21st Century Skills. (Lippl, 2013)

 

Gee (2005) puts forward that good games incorporate ‘good learning principles’ (p.34), which reflect sound pedagogy and links to the modern skills we are trying to teach in the classroom. Gee’s principles are extremely valuable to investigate and explore in his article Good video games and good learning’

 

My experience of gaming is fairly limited and completely as an individual player, rather than in any online/cooperative gaming environment. This is where my challenge lies in figuring out the role of gaming in my classroom and how it can possibly create this socially inclusive space for students. My own experience around gaming has evolved with discovering the power of failure in games like ‘Assassin’s Creed’ and ‘Uncharted’; and as Gee points out that failure is a good thing (2005, p.35), and my early failures have been used as Gee puts it, a way to find the patterns, and to gain feedback to overcome the obstacles (p.35). That is one of the big issues in the classroom that we do not encourage failure and actually work against it at all costs. Dan Haesler (2017) recently did a small twitter poll snapshot that shows how often we actually are allowing students more than one chance.

Twitter Poll (Haesler, 2017)

The question at hand on how we can encourage more failure, but at the same time creating socially inclusive classroom with games, can only take place if teachers are allowed freedom with the curriculum and be allowed to take risks. Kafai & Burke (2015) noted that playing games highlight the personal, social and cultural dimensions of constructionist learning, and this can according to Ives (2015) “not only be a constructivist view of learning, where learning emerges from experiences, but also a connectivist approach where learning is strengthened and enhanced when nodes of knowledge (players) connect and diffuse knowledge”.

 

The digital games which require the creation of “cross-functional teams” (Gee, 2005), where these are people with different functional expertise working towards common goals, are extremely beneficial in developing an inclusive classroom. It allows students of various abilities, interests, expertise, and passions to come together in a collaborative effort to solve problems and overcome obstacles. These are so-called Affinity Spaces, where experiential learning can happen, where novices and masters work together, knowledge is shared and collectively the group develops towards an end point.

 

The issue as Gee notes is that “challenge and learning are a large part of what makes video games motivating and entertaining”, but schools are generally not known for places where students enjoy learning. The challenge remains that we need to look at each game with a pedagogical framework on how we can create these socially inclusive learning environments that can engage students. Each one is unique and can offer endless learning opportunities.

 

References

 

Gee, J.P. (2005). Good video games and good learning. Phi Kappa Phi Forum, 85(2), 33-37. http://dmlcentral.net/sites/dmlcentral/files/resource_files/GoodVideoGamesLearning.pdf

 

Haesler, D. [@danhaesler]. (2017, Mar 16). How many times will you allow a student to re-take an end of unit assessment before you report on their ability in said unit? [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/danhaesler/status/842247117896785921

 

Ives, M. (2015). Digital Games: Cross Functional Teams and Collaboration. [Blog] Knowledge Networks & Digital Innovation Blog. Available at: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/mattives/2015/03/22/digital-games-cross-functional-teams-and-collaboration/

 

Kafai, Y.B. & Burke, Q. (2015). Constructionist gaming: understanding the benefits of making games for learning, Educational Psychologist, 50 (4). DOI: 10.1080/00461520.2015.1124022

Lippl, C. (2013, December 16). The Four Cs of 21st Century Skills. [Image]. Retrieved from http://zulama.com/education-trends/four-cs-21st-century-skills/#.WM-vGHSGPBI

Assessment 1: INF541 Online Reflective Journal Blog Task 1

It is the Year 2017 and the introduction of new technologies and applications is accelerating. The education landscape today is markedly different to previous generations. The current group of Year 12 students in Queensland were mostly born in 2000; they have grown up in a world that is saturated with media, internet connectivity, smartphones, tablet computing, gaming, social media and video streaming. This is their world now, and educational systems are rapidly scrambling to adjust and keep up.

               eLearningIndustry (2017)

As John Seely Brown poses this question for schools to reflect on regarding their future, “What will schools, universities and research institutes look like in five years time?” (DML Research Hub, 2012) This is difficult to grasp based on the changes that keep taking place and the sheer speed of technological changes. At the same time according to Becker (2011), digital games technology is developing at a furious pace but relatively little scholarly work exists on the use of modern digital games for education. This is where the article of Jennings (2011) also adds to the argument through the research by Griffith University professor, Dr Catherine Beavis, an expert in video game-based learning,  where she says “schools still have a way to go before they can harness the full educational potential of video games” and she believes that  ” there is tremendous potential for games-based learning, but also the potential for things to go seriously wrong…”

 

My own personal belief is that Game Based Learning (GBL) should be part of the whole digital education reform, and that it deserves a place alongside introducing ‘digital literacy’ skills and embedding it in all aspects of curriculum.  Both Vincent Trundle, digital education producer at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), and many other educational researchers recognise how using video games to create diverse learning experiences is beneficial and important in being incorporated into contemporary education (Jennings, 2011). These games allow students and teachers to further develop the key 21st-century skills of collaboration, communication, creativity, connecting, and critical inquiry.

Digital Game Based Cartoon (2011)

As games and gaming appear to have arrived on the educational-technology agenda, how do you see them fitting into your practice?

As a senior History and Business teacher I mainly teach the Year 12s at the school, focused on developing skills and preparing them for OP/ATAR requirements. This makes it very important that any gaming/games that I consider to integrate fits in well with the subjects and benefits the skills development of my students. I have used Kahoot and BreakoutEdu, and various other games along the way; but they need further thought and research.

 

What is the context of your learning?

This is my 3rd last subject with my Masters studies in Knowledge Networks and Digital Innovation. At the same time, I’m very active with my PLN online through Twitter (@jdtriver), Google Educator Groups and TeachMeets. They have all given me a rich experience on the importance of twenty-first century digital pedagogy and driven me to keep developing my skills.

 

What are your personal aims in this subject?

To develop a greater understanding of the research and theory behind GBL. Also to explore different games, platforms and tools; seeing how they could benefit myself, my students or my colleagues. I would also like to be able to integrate GBL more effectively in my senior class and share my knowledge with my school community.

 

What challenges are you hoping to meet for yourself?

Managing work-study-family-health balance for a start, as well as the various education commitments outside my school that I’m involved in. I would like to develop a greater understanding of GBL, and as someone that is fairly new to gaming in general, I would like to challenge myself to explore and try various new GBL ideas along the way. The biggest challenge will be to share my newly acquired knowledge with staff and overcoming any resistance to these ideas.

 

I’m looking forward to the journey ahead and deeper exploration of GBL.

 

 

 

REFERENCES

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 (pp. 75-107). Hershey, PA

Digital Game-Based Learning Cartoon (2017) flickr photo by Son Le (GER) [IMAGE] Retrieved from https://flickr.com/photos/donjonson/5351362611

DMLResearchHub. (2012,Sept 18). The global one schoolhouse: John Seely Brown [Video file]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/fiGabUBQEnM

Elearningindustry.com. (2017). Gamification and Game based learning. [IMAGE] Available at: https://elearningindustry.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/gamification-and-game-based-learning-yes-they-are-different.jpg

Jennings, J. (2014, November 20). ‘Teachers re-evaluate value of video games’ [Digital Newspaper Article], The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved from: http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/teachers-reevaluate-value-of-video-games-20141110-11jw0i