Throughout Bett 2013, Microsoft will be showing teachers, schools and IT professionals how to make the most of technology and gaming for learning, both to improve educational outcomes and also help the UK maintain its position as an innovator in games development. Gaming provides a reward-based environment, where children are encouraged to persevere until they reach the next level. That determination is something which should be transferred into the classroom.
Showcasing a wealth of new gaming technology for education, Microsoft’s Bett is focused on demonstrating that computer games in the classroom can improve students’ performance and enhance their learning experience.
The use of computer games in schools has received much attention in the last few years, and stirred up some controversy. However, games have been a part of learning for a long time, and there is much interesting research to support this. Some time ago I attempted a survey of the use of computer games in education for my third year BEd module on cross curricular uses of ICT.
From learning through play, to the loose movement of ‘Games Based Learning’ and ‘Gamification’, as well as recent insights from Neuroeducational research, this lecture seeks to give an overview of the current state of learning from games.
Eat chocolate and ice cream for a balanced diet! Be universally popular by saying exactly what’s on your mind! Pass exams by playing computer games! If you think this is fantasy, then you’d be right – 66.7% of the time.
It’s the computer games claim that’s not fantasy. As early as 2002 a group called Teachers Evaluating Educational Multimedia produced a report which was consulted by the Department of Education: it showed how even games without an explicitly educational content could develop a range of critical skills in children. Last year a survey by researchers from Michigan State University was presented to the Third International Cognitive Load Theory Conference, which confirmed that Internet use and video games significantly help young adolescents who are struggling with literacy.
With a keen interest in ICT and maths, I have been exploring ways in which iPad apps (other than the “I can do maths…. 2+2” type) can enhance pupil progress and motivation. I believe that, when done the right way, gaming can play a huge role in learning.
If you are going to try any of these ideas in class, it's best to be quite familiar with the apps and how they work.
Here are 10 things I have tried:
Photo credit: http://www.angry-birds-game.info
U-Explore is delighted to announce its collaboration with Arcadu Learning with Games, the unique games-based learning solution designed to motivate and engage students in their homework and independent study.
Just like U-Explore, Arcadu Learning with Games is designed by teachers for teachers to ensure students' learning is fun, engaging and aligned to key learning outcomes.
Arcadu Learning with Games includes over 80 topics with more than 8,000 questions ranging from National Curriculum level 3 to GCSE A* across 14 subjects. Its intelligent question banks adjust automatically, ensuring each student has a personalised package. Plus, with arcade quality games students are able to play whilst they learn, ensuring they remain entertained and challenged.
This article compares Purpose Built Education Games to Commercial Entertainment Games in terms of their use in the classroom. The comparison is done using the five factors: design, delivery, technology & support, outcomes and cost.
Does the game provide a sense of realism (as opposed to pure fantasy)? Commercial entertainment games (CEnG) provide a visually compelling experience for the player and can provide a chance to practice “authentic” activities. Unfortunately, it can also be argued that they can provide an experience that is too authentic with depictions of violence and sexuality. This has caused some parents to worry about the appropriateness of using games in the classroom. Purpose built education games (PBEdG) should not suffer from being inappropriate and can be graphic rich, although this is not always the case. In reality, the design should immerse the learners in the game play, but this should not be at the expense of the learning.
Does the game offer a suitable level of complexity and is it inclusive? This issue poses a lot of problems for CEnG as they are often designed to play over months. The game play has to be rich and thus complex. This means that they can be problematic for classroom use, as it is hard to justify the initial time spent learning about the game and how it plays. Some CEnG, though, are fairly easy to use – Wii party games, for example. PBEdG, on the other hand, ought to be designed to work easily and as importantly they should support multiple learning styles and be inclusive. Note: CEnG sessions can potentially be dominated by players who already know the game or gaming platform.