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Games in Schools 2019 Module 2.4 Thematic and project based learning with games Further resources


Hello and welcome back to Module 2 of this
European Schoolnet Academy Games in Schools course. Module 2 is all about using games
for thematic and project-based learning. In this last video of Module 2 I’m going
to be signposting you to other resources that you might use in your classroom as a context for learning. The first resource I want to point you towards is the Nintendo Switch. We’ve already mentioned the Nintendo Switch as part of this games
in schools course. But a particular shout out here for the Nintendo Labo which combines
the Nintendo Switch Console with cardboard cutouts to make real and tangible objects
which are used in game play. You can see a few examples of them on the screen here, everything
from a mini house to a fishing rod, to a musical instrument to handlebars for a motorbike.
But maybe lots of ways you can start to imagine how technology like the Nintendo Switch with Labo might be
used as a context for learning. There are lots of other examples, you might
be surprised that we’ve not mentioned Minecraft so far on this games based learning course, but
Minecraft is a great example of a sandbox game where you can pretty much build anything you can imagine and you can explore worlds that other people have built. We will be talking more
about Minecraft in Module 5, but there’s something about the immersive nature of Minecraft,
immersive nature when you can explore other worlds, which not only makes it great for children creating content, but provides
a context to learn about history, geography, science and to engage in the creative process,
creative writing, poetry creative thought etc. There are lots of other virtual worlds out
there, Myst is an example of a game which is available for the PC, it’s an old game now but still equally
relevant. It was highly popularised in education by the late Tim Rylands, who used to use it
in primary schools all over the UK as a rich and immersive place for young people to explore
and develop their creativity skills, in particular creative writing. The sequel to Myst is called Riven, again
available for the PC, a rich and immersive world full of sound and full of different landscapes that again you
could use as a context for learning and creative writing. There are a number of other games that are
similar to this, Journey is an immersive game full of sound, full of wonderful landscapes
and objects, full of mystery, wonder and delight. And again a wonderful environment for creative writing as you make your
way across the desert landscape. There are slightly more obscure games like
The Plan for example where you take on the role of a fly, you explore a number of different
objects and a number of different places through the eye of a fly. An interesting way to use
a game like this to inspire children to create and write their own stories. There are other games that are examples of
immersive worlds that maybe link into a historical context. Valiant Hearts tells the story
and provides the game play around the Great War, highly factually accurate and really interesting
in terms of the different environments you end up in as the game character to make you
reflect on the terror and the horrific nature of war. There are other games that have been around
a while that make you think about war, Age of Empires, not so much about the environments
of the game but more about the tactics of warfare. I can easily be linked in to history
and geography lessons here. I know that I’ve already mentioned the Digital
Games in Schools Handbook, which I mentioned is being updated, there are lots of examples
in the handbook of how different commercially and off the shelf games have been used in
schools across Europe and we are looking forward to the updated version which hopefully will
come out in 2020. I also want to flag up this piece of research that
came from FutureLab in the UK and what was Learning and Teaching Scotland, which is The Impact
of Console Games in the Classroom. One of the reasons I wanted to flag it is that, although it’s slightly dated it does provide academic
rigour around the way that commercially off the shelf games can be used in the classroom
to meet outcomes in terms of learning, teaching and assessment. A slightly more modern free publication you’ll
find linked in the forum, Learning, Education and Games, and here you’ll find lots of
links to education games but commercially available off the shelf games and how these
might be able to be used in your classrooms and schools and you education settings. The last one or two things to mention, I wanted
to give a shout out to my great friend Derek Robertson who now works at the University
of Dundee who has done a huge amount of work in the use of commercial off the shelf games in the classroom. I had the great pleasure of working with him for a number of years and there’s no one
else that can talk passionately about some of these ideas, which Derek has developed.
There’s a link to his own personal blog which he updates from time to time. It’s
a personal journey about how he has used commercially available off the shelf games in the classroom for many years. My final thought is this, if we think about
commercial games to engage learners, we need to think about how we use commercial games
to engage teachers first. It might sound like a really common sense thing to say, but actually
it is really important as an adult we play, it’s really important that we become familiar
with some of the tools that we might use in the classroom and if we are not engaged with
them ourselves, how do we expect young people to be engaged with them. What I would encourage you to do is to take
every opportunity to play computer games as an adult so that you can experience the joy,
the wonder, the delight, the frustration of what some of this game play can bring together. There’s a great example here of a staff
professional development opportunity, it’s a great thing to do in the comfort of your
own home or with friends. Get out there and have a go at playing a game.
That’s the end of Module 2 where we have been talking about the use of commercially available
off the shelf games for project based and thematic learning. We have another Padlet activity at the end
of this module. If you follow the Padlet link that is on the online forum, it will take
you to a Padlet page and you’ll see that I’ve already put examples of commercially
available off the shelf games that I think could be used in the classroom. What I would
like you to do is to add different sticky notes to this with your own ideas you’ve
already tried, or ideas you’ve already thought about, maybe useful ideas to have a go at. You’ll see the format of how I have set
it up, I’ve talked about the name of the game, the platform that the game is available on, the genre of the game,
I’ve talked about the age range that I think the game might be appropriate with. I’ve
just written one or two lines about how I think this game could be linked in to a thematic
context. What I’m hoping is if all of the people
from this games course can add one or two sticky notes of games they think they could
use in the classroom, that would give us a really rich and tangible resource that we
can use back in our own schools and classrooms to use computer games to engage young people. I’ve really enjoyed Module 2, I’ve really
enjoyed the conversations that have been emerging. Don’t forget to contribute to the forum, and don’t forget as well your ideas and your aspirations and of course your game titles, using the hashtag #GamesCourse on Twitter and on Facebook. See you in Module 3, where we will be looking
at learning games, this time games that are specifically built for learning.

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