Games in Schools 2019 Module 1.2 Why use computer games


Welcome back to the European Schoolnet Academy
Games in Schools Course. This is Module 1 which is about Why use Computer
Games and the title of this video is exactly the same as the title of the whole Module and in this short
video we’re really going to be thinking about why might we use computer games in the
classroom, and we’re also going to be thinking about the arguments that we might present
to other teachers, headteachers, principals and parents about why computer games are important
and why they make really powerful learning tools. When I think about this I’m always reminded
by one of my favourite quotes that comes from my old friend Derek Robertson who now works
at the University of Dundee in Scotland. Derek always used to say that “Good teachers use
good tools”. What he meant by that is that a good teacher will take a good learning and
teaching tool and they will apply that in the classroom setting depending on the learning need.
That good tool might be taking children outside, it might be using paint, it might be using
pens, it might be using wood, hammers and nails, or metal work. It might be using plastics.
And of course it might be using computer games if those computer games can create interesting
and engaging learning experiences that are going to motivate children and also help them
meet their learning outcomes. Ultimately we need to think about school and
what we are trying to do in school. I think that in school we are trying to make sure
we give children knowledge (and knowledge is still important in schools) but we’re
also trying to make sure they have got the skills to help them thrive in the 21st century
and beyond. When we think about different skills and which skills
are important there are lots of people who have their own opinions on this. One of the
sets of skills which I used a lot when I was working in Scotland was a framework which
is called Skills 4.0 Skills for the future. The World Economic Forum talks a lot about
skills that were important in 2015 and skills that might be more important in 2020 based
on surveys that they have done for the Future of Work report by speaking to different employers. Within the LEGO Foundation we sometimes talk
about the skills for holistic development being physical skills, social skills, creative
skills. Emotional skills and cognitive skills. And even though the different names of these frameworks might be a little bit different, nobody is arguing that skills are not important. If you think about it, we develop skills through engaging and immersive experiences. These engaging and immersive
experiences really are good learning and teaching approaches. I would suggest that learning through play
and playful learning approaches are a really good way to develop a whole range of holistic
skills. If you think about how play has evolved mechanically over time, we might think of
it like this, we have some types of play where the only option was to play with no technology
or no manipulatives at all. We’ve moved with the times where we are starting to get
other types of play where children have got things to pick up and build, blocks to put
together, Rubik’s cubes to solve. And of course, more recently, particularly I would
say in the last 20 years, we have things like computer games, which takes the fundamentals of good game play and puts them into the digital
realm through screens and more interactivity around things as well. It’s also really important when we think
about learning through play that we’ve got a spectrum of practice and you can see from
this diagram on the left side we have free play and children can get on with it, it’s
completely down to their choice and over on the right hand side we have perhaps more structure
and more instruction. The really powerful part of this tends to
come in the middle where children have got choice but they are guided or coached by the
teacher in order to meet those learning outcomes. When we think about the 5 characteristics
of playful experiences, the characteristics are not just found in computer games but they
are also found in other aspects of play as well, this is what they are. We know that
good play is meaningful, joyful, it’s socially interactive, it’s actively engaging and
it’s iterative, where children can take things apart and try things again, ágain
and againa If I really wanted to try to think that through
in terms of what this means for a classroom teacher I could think about these 5 characteristics
of playful experiences meaningful, joyful, socially interactive, actively engaging and
iterative these actually make a really good experience I would want in any classroom or
lesson as well. If I think it through even further than that
and I think about the domain of good digital play, and as well as having these 5 characteristics of an excellent
lesson, I can also start to have these highly personalised experiences for children which
can deliver real time feedback. If we think about this, then these are the really powerful terms
for us to have in our classroom. So, a bit of introduction about why I think games based learning is really important Why don’t you have a think about what was
your favourite game, either now or as a child. Looking forward to seeing you in the next video, and don’t forget to use the hashtag #GamesCourse
to bind the conversation together.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *