Game Changers: Utilizing Digital Game Design to Engage Students
Game Changers: Utilizing Digital Game Design to Engage Students Scott JelinekDenver Center for International Studies (DCIS) at Montbello
Agenda• Introductions• Game Presentations• Goals of the class and specifics• Project Management – community partners, evaluations• Student-led small group discussions• Planning time• Questions?
Do Now!• How do you think you can incorporate game design or technology in your classroom?
Scott Jelinek• 9th grade Biology teacher at the Denver Center for International Studies (DCIS) at Montbello• Was looking for a way to increase student engagement in his classes• Piloted Project: Game Changers in 1 of 5 Biology classes with 27 students• 1 hour a day, 5 days a week, 1 semester
Goals of the class• Provide students with an opportunity to drive their own learning using new technology and acquire life skills necessary for students to succeed in a new era.• Students will learn about science, energy conservation, civic engagement and technology through game design.• Students are engaged to understand sequence, logic, rules and concepts of a game that determine how things have to happen for a game to function.
Goals of the class• This project addressed personal development through the impact of game-based learning. – In 1934, Dewey stated that students learn more effectively when their action of learning offers the opportunity to try out what they have learned with their own unique skills. – MIT professor, Seymour Papert, declares that learners become deeply engaged by fun while “doing,” because the reward of fun motivates deeper engagement. Many of the students’ best learning experiences come when they become attached to the subject through interaction.• Game-based learning offers learners an authentic learning activity: to learn by doing.
Specifics of the Class• Divided the week: two days of video game design, two days of Biology, and one day of guest speakers/civic engagement• 9 weeks teaching the students about how to use computer programs and 3D animation using the program ALICE• 9 weeks teaching game design through Game Maker
Specifics of the Class• First had students map out their games using storyboards – students practiced their thinking to have a clear understanding of the topic, purpose, sequence, and operation of an individuals’ game – helps students put their thinking on paper and allows them to better see what they want for their game. – a process of logical thinking and communication.• Energy Conservation – renewable/non-renewable energy use and the concepts of pollution, renewable resources, environmental concerns and more to make a video game.
Project Management• Received a grant from the Margulf Family Foundation• Partnered with Arts Street, Groundworks Denver, University of Denver, and the GIS (Geographic Information System) Department of Denver Public Schools
Evaluation• Independent evaluator observed the class/students once a week and conducted interviews and had students complete surveys
Students’ Experience• How did you make the game?• Was it easy? Hard? Frustrating? Fun?!• What did you learn about game design?• Who did we work with in the class?• How was this class different than other classes you have had in the past?
Student-Led Small Group Discussion• Split into three groups – Start off by having everyone go around and introduce yourself: Names, schools, role at school, city/state
Individual, Group, Team Work Time• Now here is a chance for individual or school team planning on how you might integrate gaming at your schools• Have this opportunity to speak with the students and teachers from DCIS at Montbello.• Play the games!!!