October 23, 2014 by ztheb
I knew that games were helpful in teaching concepts in the classroom, but I was never 100% sure why or how they play such an important role. I found that games not only scaffold children’s learning, but they also create a fun, self-motivated environment. This kind of environment helps students maintain focus, learn at their own pace, self-assess their knowledge, and have greater control of their own learning.
Utilising games that relate to the subject being studied in the classroom can help scaffold a child’s learning. It can also enhance the learning of particular concepts, such as:
- Problem solving
I like the idea that gaming can allow for students to think, talk and act, and have power over their learning. As a teacher, I will need to assess each game to ensure learning outcomes are being met, but I like the idea of variation in games and the possibilities each game may provide for a child. When educators choose games that fit within the curriculum and suit the desired learning, they help create a hands-on, mind-on opportunity that allows players to actively focus, create and change a scenario, and simultaneously learn about consequences of choice (Keesee, 2011).
It makes sense that when children become more engaged and committed to succeeding in the game, they become more willing to learn more about a topic and how to solve problems. Using digital technology in the classroom would be a great enthusiasm booster for learning, making the classroom a place children want to engage and learn.
LEARNING RESOURCE – Sploder.
I discovered and explored another game making site this week: Sploder. This would be a great programming tool to introduce students to the world of game making. The site also provides themes for each game, which could link in with a weekly topic. Unlike Scratch, there is no programming skills necessary – it is based on the creative side of game making. As such, it allows children to discover many different ways to design games.
I found Sploder a lot more fun to use than Scratch. Every aspect is very self-explanatory and easy to follow, and the program allows you make a range of games – from puzzles, to old school retro games, shooter games and platform creating games. It would be a great program to use with primary school and high school students as they would find the process very engaging and it would allow them to create a final product that could be shared around with others in the class.
More information of Sploder’s educational benefits can be found at: http://www.sploder.com/parents-teachers.php
I had a go at making my own game, give it a go:
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Keesee, G. (2011). Educational Games. Retrieved from http://teachinglearningresources.pbworks.com/w/page/35130965/Educational%20Games
Scratch. (2014). Scratch Home [Image]. Retrieved from http://scratch.mit.edu
Sploder. (2014). Sploder Home [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.sploder.com