Part of our week 2 activities in the EDC3100 course is to select an ICT innovation from the Google spreadsheet provided. The spreadsheet was developed as part of the ‘Decoding Learning‘ report prepared in the UK ,in 2012, to report on effective use of ICT in learning. I chose #49 – Game based learning through Kinect games and console. The report organises these innovations into one of eight themes. The spreadsheet identifies my chosen innovation as coming from the ‘Practice’ context and belonging to the ‘Expert’ theme.
What is it? Games Based Learning (GBL) Innovation
In her blog, Alice Leung, describes a number of examples where she has utilised the technology of the XBOX gaming console, with both the Kinect motion sensor and the handheld controllers to play games that engage students and provides students with experiences, data and results, that can then be used in key learning areas such as English, Science, Mathematics, HPE.
How is it used?
Students play the selected game and record their score or result, noting their experience and the challenges they faced. This data can then be used for learning about things such as: calculating average speed; writing about new experiences; creating their own Olympic events; and evaluating the authenticity of the games compared to the actual skills required for the events.
Why it helps students to learn.
An important aspect of learning is student engagement. The gaming console and environment is very familiar to students and will require little direction or instruction. If students enjoy the aspect of creating data or material for later discussion or class work, they will be more invested in completing the written or calculation tasks that relate to their game performance.
Apart from that, the sheer active involvement by students enhances learning. Edutopia’s Andrew Miller, on his blog, refers to Edutopia’s “Six Tips for Brain Based Learning,” saying that using active, physical modalities can help the learning process. John Medina author of Brain Rules shows how exercise boosts oxygen-rich blood flow to the brain, which helps students concentrate better.
He goes on to say, “Instead of having the physical activity as a break from learning to engage in later learning, the Kinect can use the best of both worlds, coupling brain-based physical learning and gestures with learning of content. In addition, we know that games engage us and motivate us to play, provide needed feedback, and provide a safe space to fail.”
These are all good reasons to utilise this technology innovation in the classroom.