Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Game Based learning Module 7

I can't believe that we are already on Module 7. Time just flies when you are having fun. During the week of the 27th to 30th of October the hills of Cofimvaba came alive with the sounds of music, fun and laughter while we play-acted our Game Based Learning strategy.

Even though the entire ICT4RED TPD course has embedded elements of gamification that drives it, we have one whole module dedicated to exploring just how it can be used to create fun and exciting learning opportunities. The facilitators met on the Monday prior to the weeks training to fine-tune arrangements and to make sure that they can model the fun elements required to invite their teachers to participate in the fun.

The first activity demonstrated how traditional gaming apps ( in his case Angry birds) can be used to
focus learners while they learn important lessons that could enhance their 21st century skill set. We explored what Game Based learning really means and what constitutes a game. Is a game just a game? The teachers set about defining elements needed to make a game a game. It was mentioned that most games requires at some rudimentary set of rules. Healthy competition helps to fuel interest and to focus learners. By embedding learning objectives connected to the CAPS within games, enthusiastic learning is guaranteed (as was demonstrated by the teachers). One of the added benefits of incorporating the Angry birds app into this lesson structure was that it gave some of the teachers who still was a bit scared of technology the opportunity "to fly". We also looked at other apps that can be used in the classroom and apps specifically geared towards promoting education outcomeswithin a fun environment. For more ideas on how and why to use Angry Birds in the classroom, refer to the following slideshow by Edgar Joe.

The teachers then had to get to grips with the various pitfalls of copyright, fair use and creative commons licensing and prepared to take each other on using a quiz game show. Competition was tough and in two of the sessions there were a dead draw which resulted in a frantic scramble for the highest score. Everybody agreed that this was a great way to do revision or to make sure if learners have grappled with topics in a flipped classroom scenario.

Our final gaming activity had the creative juices flowing with the teachers using their tablets to compose songs about the project. We looked at how assessment rubrics can be used to make game adjudication more fair.We solicited esteemed judges from the district office to help with the process.

Now the teachers will go and implement this fun strategy with their learners and we are looking forward to see what they come up with! Let the (edu) games begin!!

For all the photos from our sessions click on the links below:

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