Posts Tagged ‘blog task 2’

Blog Task 2

Topic 1 : How might games be used to develop a more socially inclusive classroom or workplace using Gee’s viewpoint?

A socially inclusive classroom endeavours to meet the individual needs of all students (Cologon, 2015). Students are encouraged to learn together with guidance from the teacher who utilises a variety of resources. Games are one such resource that a teacher could employ to cater for the diverse learning needs within a class.

Initially, teachers, such as myself, who have had little experience playing video games may see barriers and tensions rather than opportunities. The traditional role of the teacher is challenged when video games are used in the classroom (Sandford, Facer & Williamson, 2011) and this can be unsettling. At first, barriers such as technology infrastructure and the time required to learn about games seem insurmountable. However these barriers can be overcome if teachers are willing to rethink their teaching (Becker, 2011).

Created by Karen Malbon

According to James Paul Gee, good games incorporate learning principles that can be have a positive impact on education (Turkay, 2014). Gee asserts that video games entertain and motivate people through challenge and learning. Gee’s viewpoint is backed up by cognitive science research (2005) and is persuasive enough to make me rethink the place of games in schools and libraries.

Of the sixteen learning principles described by Gee (2005), the following four resonated with me as beneficial to a socially inclusive classroom; risk taking, customisation, situated meanings and cross-functional teams.

Risk taking
Video games encourage players to take risks and explore. Failure is not the end result but the chance to receive feedback in order to try again (Gee, 2005). Video games provide a safe environment to try out different choices and consider other points of view (Turkay, 2014). Ethical understanding is a general capability in the Australian Curriculum and video games could be useful resources.

Many video games allow the player to adjust difficulty levels. The same game could be used within a classroom but differentiated according to the needs of individual students. Students can also customise games in other ways to suit their learning or playing styles (Gee, 2005). For example sounds can be turned on or off. Customisation also assists in managing cognitive load, the mental effort required for a task (Turkay, 2014).

Situated meanings
Video games could improve vocabulary by situating the meaning of words and language within the context of the game. Verbal and non-verbal cues are contained in images, actions and the dialogue of video games (Gee,2005) and could be beneficial to learners with learning difficulties.

Cross-functional teams
Massively multiplayer online games rely on a diverse range of skills from multiple players. Players have the opportunity to specialise in a particular skill and contribute to the game. Enjoyment is often derived by the commitment to a common goal and the affiliation with others revolves around this commitment regardless of individual differences (Gee, 2005). Forums, cheat sites, game wikis are learning communities that evolve when players have a shared interest and are part of a participatory culture (Turkay, 2014). In a socially inclusive classroom problem solving, sharing and discussion could leverage different modalities of expression to suit different students.

My concerns about using video games in schools and libraries are beginning to diminish as I become more aware of the relationship video games have with learning theories, learning principles and participatory culture. My next big challenge is to identify games that are suitable for libraries and classrooms.

James Paul Gee from New Learning Institute on Vimeo.


Becker, K. (2010). Distinctions Between Games and Learning: A Review of Current Literature on Games in Education Gaming and Cognition: Theories and Practice from the Learning Sciences (pp. 22-54). doi:10.4018/978-1-61520-717-6.ch002

Cologon, K. (2015). Inclusive education means all children are included in every way, not just in theory. Retrieved from

Gee, J. P. (2005). Good video games and good learning. Phi Kappa Phi Forum, 85(2), 33-37. Retrieved from

Sandford, R., Facer, K., & Williamson, B. (2011). Constructions of games, teachers and young people in formal learning. In de Freitas, S., & Maharg, P.  Digital games and learning (pp.176-199)Retrieved from

Turkay, S., Hoffman, D., Kinzer, C. K., Chantes, P., & Vicari, C. (2014). Toward Understanding the Potential of Games for Learning: Learning Theory, Game Design Characteristics, and Situating Video Games in Classrooms. Computers in the Schools, 31(1/2), 2-22. doi:10.1080/07380569.2014.890879


Designed for Purpose – Aldi Supermarket – Assessment Item 2



Exterior view of Aldi supermarket with large sign


Ample car parking is available directly outside the supermarket. About one third of the car park is covered in shade cloth. The trolley bay is just outside the supermarket and is sheltered with a roof. Trolleys are secured and require a coin or token to use.

The entry is via an ‘in’ door with a double door system. It prevents shoppers from exiting without going past the cash registers. An alarm sounds if someone tries to exit through the in door.

Like most supermarkets the lighting is very bright and the temperature is moderate. The aisles are wide enough for two trolleys to pass. In some areas shoppers have to wait before they can pass another shopper or get to a particular item. Facial expressions on some shoppers indicate patience or impatience. Some shoppers excuse themselves so they can reach an item near another shopper. Announcements requesting a staff member or announcing the opening or closing of a register can be heard. Shoppers in pairs or groups talk to each other. Children make most of the louder noises or sometimes a parent disciplining a child.

Most items are contained in boxes or on pallets that serve as shelves. Large wire containers hold clothing and household items in the centre of the store. These containers range from organised to messy. Some shoppers sift through items contained within, while others ignore them and pass by quickly. Electronic goods and  items of higher cost than grocery items are enclosed in a glass display case so a staff member must assist with their retrieval. Prices are displayed above all items with bold black text on yellow or red tickets. The red tickets distinguish items that have a special price or that are available for a limited time. Signage hangs from the ceiling for promotion.

The cash registers have a long conveyor belt where customers place their goods and they use dividers to separate their goods from those of the next customer.There are many small items above the conveyor belt. Staff at the registers scan the items very quickly.  There is only a small bench to place goods on once they are scanned. Customers need to be quick at retrieving their goods from the staff member. Customers load their goods into their own shopping bags or trolley. Some struggle to keep up to the pace of the staff member on the register and have trouble getting their money or card ready to pay while packing their bag or trolley. The EFTPOS/credit card keypad faces the customer and the staff member provides verbal instructions and only assists if the customer is unable to follow the verbal instructions. Customers who are slow at paying and packing their goods are sometimes pressured to hurry along by the body language of the next customer in the queue or by the speed of the staff member at the register. About three steps from the register there is a long bench that provides a space for customers to organise and pack their shopping into bags.

For a selection of images visit my Flickr album. Images have also been added to the INF536 Flickr group.


Sketch of Aldi floorplan. Not to scale.

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