Week 7 Reflection ~ Online Gaming and it’s use in Teaching & Learning

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PLAYING SHOULD BE FUN! In our great eagerness to teach our children we studiously look for “educational” toys, games with built-in lessons, books with a “message.” Often these “tools” are less interesting and stimulating than the child’s natural curiosity and playfulness. Play is by its very nature educational. And it should be pleasurable. When the fun goes out of play, most often so does the learning.”
– Oppenheim, J. (Kids and Play, ch. 1, 1984)

 

Who doesn’t like to play games?  Not only are they fun, interactive and social, but online games are also a great educational tool for learning.  Games can provide an interactive and entertaining environment for students to learn, which also embraces the student centered learning philosophy. Research suggests online games as a tool, can be utilised to improve a students vision, attention span, speed, accuracy, multi tasking and certain cognitive skills. All of these are considered essential in today’s digital expectant world.

With the high demands placed on educators to always be standards focused, online games can seem more like a distraction rather than an educational tool.  However, classroom online games can engage students and add vitality to tasks that would otherwise seem mundane. This engagement leads to a more motivated and at times competitive, energized classroom.

When teachers recognize the impact that entertainment software has, such as “Sploder”, where students create their own online game, they are embracing the cultural and technological shift that the wider community is now dictating, helping to impart knowledge and develop life skills in students of all ages.

As a future teacher, I will be embracing online games into my lesson plans, to allow students to connect with their peers in new and exciting ways, which will also assist in their development of technical, media literacy and collaboration skills.

(222 words)

Check out my own online game I made through “Sploder” ~ called ‘Defeat the Bullies”
Click on this link –
http://www.sploder.com/publish.php?PHPSESSID=cd4e1cba3608c48a4ad66d1bcacaf46e&s=d0043b64#kickdown


References:

Howell, J.  (2012).  Teaching With ICT.  Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and
Creativity.  South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press.

Starting Point.  (n.d). Teaching Entry Level Geoscience.  Retrieved from:
http://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/games/whygames.html

Google Image.  Retrieved from:
http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/media-network-blog/2012/feb/29/online-gaming-addictive-profits

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