Day 8 (of 187) T(ec)hursday
Last year I found a fun way to keep tech in a gamification mindset. Searching the web for games connected to curricular goals can be fun! And there are some great ways to use video games to gamify learning. I should know. I grew up making connections to what we were supposed to be doing in school to what was going on via my computer and Atari!
First off, quite often there would be code in magazines that you could copy out and create a game! (Sorry – no copy & paste and if you made a mistake you also learned how to debug….or edit…the program)
Games such as Lemonade Stand help show how supply and demand work (and how weather can mess everything up – which has evolved into one of my favourite probability and statistics games: deal or no deal. Han Solo May have never wanted to be told the odds, but sometimes it’s useful.
PacMan and Donkey King taught that as you get better, life gets faster and that doesn’t make things easier. And Adventure taught us that sometimes the goal of the game is more than conventional “winning”….
I know some people will continue to say that they never played (or let their kids play) video games and their lives are better for fit. I say that games are tools – and whether on boards or on screens it depends how you use them…and when you use them. Nobody under 15 (I’d prefer 18 but…) should be playing GTA. Mature scenes and themes are being observed by brains too young to fully understand and process what they are seeing. But many gamers are exploring retro games (and yes the first Xbox is now considered a “classic” 👊) and seeing how video gaming has evolved. (And they’re not dying of dysentery at random moments)
Our learners don’t really remember a time when tech was not a key part of their lives (except when they go to some schools and classrooms where suddenly its evil) I try to liken it to a staff coming to a meeting and given coal and parchment – the upheaval would be….well, like one of my favourite videos when the disruptive “book” was introduced (and all the horrors it brought with its presence) aka The Medieval HelpDesk
I will continue to support tech as the best tool for personalizing and differentiating the learning journey that has ever existed. Once upon a time it helped my “messy writing” become as legible as anyones. Now tech can adapt and meet the needs of learners because despite what some may say, tablets (iPads in my biased world) are not just for consumption. They make creativity possible. It helps people with a writing problem speak. Either voice to text or “just a voice”. Not everyone needs to write all the time. Any time?? Cursive may look pretty when it’s done right (write joke somewhere) but there is a reason why we don’t see it often in real life….(different cursive joke here).
I will continue to disrupt and provide “games” that will help learners see that learning can be fun. That rigor doesn’t mean more of the same, but trying lots of different! T(ec)hursday will continue us with updates from games are find or are recommended to me via my ever growing Virtual Assignments page. And if you want to start small. Give up spelling tests and have kids play Fowl Words. And if you want to differentiate “math worksheets” try math tic tac toe! You can walk around and observe and know where the kids are on algorithms and realize how that is only a small part of what numeracy & mathematics reality is!
So – new “games” each Techursday will continue…and the brackets are coming off as the name and idea blend more and more!