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Level Up! Playing. Designing. Learning
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Level Up! Playing. Designing. Learning

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This presentation was given at the 2011 Northern Sydney Region Digital Education Revolution Curriculum conference. The presentation is a brief overview of games based learning and how it can be used …

This presentation was given at the 2011 Northern Sydney Region Digital Education Revolution Curriculum conference. The presentation is a brief overview of games based learning and how it can be used to enhance and transform learning.

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  • Hi everyone. My name is Alice Leung. I’m the Head Teacher Science at Merrylands High School. Today I’m going to share with you my experience with implementing and leading games based learning. I started games based learning this year and students at Merrylands play games and design games to learn. I’m also going to share some tips on starting games based learning.
  • A little about the school context first ... MHS is a comprehensive high school in SWSR. We’ve got about 700 students and we have a very strong digital culture we’re very proud of. All of the staff do awesome things with DER laptops. We integrate it all the way through to Year 11. The majority of our students bring their laptops and use them to enhance their learning. We have an awesome principal and the school is a very cool place to work in. In my opinion, it’s the best school.
  • So why GBL. The first thing I’d like to say is that GBL is about pedagogy. It isn’t about just playing games. It isn’t about just giving points. It isn’t about just giving badges. GBL is about good learning and teaching and a lot of its elements align with the quality teaching framework. For GBL to be successful it needs to have elements of good learning. This means the experience needs to be social, interactive, problem based, goal-orientated, feedback rich and relevant. Just like a game, there are different levels of GBL with the lower levels being more basic and the upper levels being more complex but yet more exciting and rewarding.
  • At the most basic level, games make learning fun. That’s how I started with GBL. I saw a challenge as an opportunity. When Yr 9s got their laptops, straight away they loaded games on it. They shared games and taught each other playing games. So I started making revision games that were in the style of arcade shooting games using a website called classtools.net to revise the different types of chemical reactions. It was with a class that we can describe as “difficult to engage”. We also shared classtools.net with the whole staff at staff development day with a group of students from our technology leadership team making games for different KLAs and teaching the staff how to use classtools.net.
  • This is when you directly link to game to course content. F1 was used to learn about motion. Sonic racing was used for students to design an experiment to test whether mobile phones affect driving skills.
  • Kinect Sports was used learn about average speed. Spore was used to learn about evolution. Angry birds was used to learn about projectile motion.
  • Games allow a level of interactivity that isn’t possible without games. Play the News is a website that turns real-life news stories into a game where players read the news first, then read everyone’s positions, then takes a role and then makes a decision. Players can make a comment in forum and there are decision trends.
  • Games have very strong narratives. This is one of the ways that games keep players captivated. This is a game called Alice: Madness Returns and it’s based on Alice in Wonderland, but as you can see in the picture, it’s a darker interpretation of the novel. In English, you can read the novel, look at how Disney has interpreted it, look at how Tim Burton has interpreted it and look at how EA games have interpreted it. And ask the students why. Tamara Rodgers from Evans HS uses these type of games to teach the structure of narratives, to show the students who atmosphere and character are created.
  • Designing games involves students working out a narrative, working out a difficulty curve, looking at patterns to code, working out how to fix errors and working as a team. I coordinate a student technology team called Laptop LeaDERs, which do a whole range of stuff, but for the past 5 months they’ve been designing a game for year 6 orientation day.
  • Kodu will be in next year’s DER laptops
  • We also have another group in our student technology team making a geolocation game for iPhones and iPods using Aris. They have designed 7 quests about the school where Yr 6 students will work in groups to find various locations in the school and learn about some school procedures. The first quest is called the social quest where you have to go to the canteen to scan a QR code for food, go to the quad and scan a QR code to put the food in the bin. We are at the debugging stage at the moment.
  • Get other teachers to play games. Games allow students and teachers to take risks. You can use games as an analogy to QTF. You can use games to celebrate achievement and bring the faculty team together. Why not play games for SDD to start the ball rolling?

Transcript

  • 1. Alice Leung @aliceleung missaliceleung.wordpress.com