Archive for the ‘Session 6: Games based learning and computing, skills and techniques’

Game On!

Todays session was about game based learning, when I came into the session I thought wow this looks fun, (my gaming addicts, sorry my two boys would be in their element!). We talked about the rapid change of technology over the last five years with the use of Ipads and Apps and how gaming has become so huge and accessible to all. As a group we came up with suggestions on the benefits of using gaming in education:

* Gaming embraces modern technology

* Can improve hand/eye co-ordination and manipulate fine/gross motor skills

* Can improve social development i.e. turn taking

* Can build on self esteem and confidence if child is non-academic

* It is a different approach/way into learning

In our session we all had the opportunity to have a go on a variety of games such as Xbox, Wii, Guitar/Hero, PS3 and the Nintendo DS, we even had our very own exclusive from our ‘Early Years Rock band’ courtesy of Drew on guitar, Emma on drums and Ellie who sang a mighty fine tune. My favourite games where the Nintendo DS and the Wii. The DS ‘maths training’ and the ‘brain gym’ were really good and I could see these being used in the classroom effectively to develop children’s literacy and numeracy skills whilst having fun, their fine and gross motor skills could also be developed with using the consoles and stylus’s. I have a Wii console at home and we use it as a family to play games, its a great way to get everyone involved, young or old and it develops many skills. We also use the Wii fit which is a great way to exercise. In schools I have only experienced children using websites such as the Cbeebies site for literacy and numeracy activities  and the Nintendo DS being used at ‘Golden time’, however I can see the potential that these games can have if used in the correct way to enhance children’s learning not just as a reward but as a teaching/learning resource.

I read an interesting article on ‘gaming in education’ online, the article said that the use of electronic games in education is on the rise and if used responsibly ‘gaming can become a force that actually helps mould young minds for the better’. The article also suggests which I found interesting is that  many teachers are finding that gaming helps students remain engaged and motivated and retain information. Follow the link for an informative read.


How Ipad’s have transformed  the classroom!

The school that gives every student an iPad Is this the way forward… I read an article about a school’s radical shift with the use of modern technology. In 2010 every pupil at ‘Cedars School of Excellence’ in Green oak Scotland had an Ipad. The idea arose from the day to day demand within the school. The head of computing at the school started to look for answers to address the issues of teachers increasingly wanting to provide pupil’s with web access, the school could not afford enough laptops to make a difference and so the Ipad was favoured to meet the increasing demands. With supportive staff on board who were already familiar with IPhone technology, a leasing arrangement with their local Apple store was arranged and the school was soon equipped with dozens of Ipads. The school found that even teachers who were not confident with technology found ways in which the Ipad enhanced the pupil’s learning. Paper books were being replaced with ibooks and even homework is sent and received via email!!!

There are specialised apps for the younger pupil’s at the school such as ‘Pocket Phonics’ and ‘Maths Bingo’ which is proving to be very popular. The use of this technology as not only boosted pupil’s confidence but has found that the  pupils are willing to try and open to new ideas. Evidently there are some critics to the integration of Ipads into the learning environment at the school, however I think the benefits out way the negatives and that this is an innovative idea of using modern technology and integrating it into the curriculum to enhance the learning environment, this could well be common in the future for all classrooms as the demand and need for technology evolves. Click on the link to read the full article.