An interesting fact I learnt this week: there are approximately half a billion people worldwide now playing video or computer games for at least one hour per day (McGonigal, 2010). Wow, makes me think that if so many people love to play these games in their spare time, they would be pretty keen to play them in an educational setting too.
This week saw us use Sploder to create our own online game. The tool was user-friendly, engaging, and fun! It was fascinating to reminisce playing video games as a child back in the 1980’s, and to realise how far technology has come that I was now making a similar game myself – and quite easily at that. I thought my game was rather well made until I compared it to some other student’s games that quite frankly were much better. Next time around I would plan my game out more purposefully, try to make it more complex, and add multiple levels.
It is interesting to note how creating something like this empowers you to keep trying new things. You realise that maybe what you thought was too difficult and way above your skill set, is actually within your realm of possibility. I can see how this would translate into the classroom; that by students using a game creation program such as this would give them the motivation and empowerment to strive further and believe that they too can achieve what they previously thought impossible.
Online gaming can also be applied as a means to teach students. Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College uses game-infused virtual learning program Quest2Teach. Another web-based program students use in Australia is Study Ladder. It covers all areas of the curriculum and includes interactive games, video lessons, worksheets and assessments. The aim of this program, as with most other online gaming programs, is to encourage student’s passion for learning simply by making it fun.
If you’re not now convinced about the benefits of using gaming for learning, check out the following infographic.
The photo “final_info” (PIXELearning, 2012)
McGonigal, J. (2010, February). Gaming can make a better world [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world#t-336587
PIXELearning. (2012). final_info [Image]. Retrieved from https://pixelearning.wordpress.com/page/2/