Friday, January 18, 2008

Games in Learning - Derek Robertson

{This blog post was typed live during the presentation. I've now edited it a bit and added a photo but there may still be blips in the information because of the original live capture. :-)}

Derek started with demonstrating a word game (My Word Coach) on the DS and talked about Hotel Dusk as examples of the kinds of games he is interested in - education/training games and narrative driven games. He showed a video of a boy using a maths games and pointed out the concentration on his face. Another example was the concentration, discussion and problem solving demonstrated by two of his pupils when they were playing on a game console - two boys who he thought were poorer than many in the class turned out to be very good problem solvers and logical thinkers in the contexts of game playing. SITC have some examples of the things Derek did when he was at Whitfield Primary School.

Derek is absolutely convinced of the value of games in education and the Consolarium has formed links around the country. A number of Authorities are working with Derek. He thinks it is important because this technology is an important part of our children's lives... but often they have to "power down" when they come to school.

Games Based Learning

Derek talked about some of the work he has done to promote Games Based Learning and he acknowledged that it does cause panic in some people. (For example it is blamed for obesity, sedentary lifestyles, aggression...) Derek is not convinced that these fears are all justified and furthermore, he asserts there are many positive effects. One example he gave was an increase in pupil writing, e.g. reluctant writers producing pages of writing - even completing work at home off their own initiative. He also talked about his research with Doctor Kawishima's Brain Training. There was an improvement in speed, confidence and accuracy but the effect was especially impressive with the lower ability range. Another example given was of a cross-curricular project based round Guitar Hero linked Geography, Art, English, Music, Drama, ... real problem solving, real collaboration. He also talked about a Myst project with Tim Rylands and the writing it inspired.

However, Derek said the intervention of teachers is key. It is not about having the flashiest games technology but about the guiding and support of a good teacher.

He was unable to demonstrate CrazyTalk but described how it can take a still image and animate it so that it lip-syncs with recorded audio. Once recorded, the character can be saved for blogs, MySpace, mobile phones, ... It encourages writing even from reluctant writers - they will write for a character in a way that they wouldn't do the same exercise for a teacher.


Successful learners require good teachers. Games Based Learning one way to engage and motivate

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,


eduebed said...

learning by playing is a good way to students especially in the primary schools.
about scottish teams i think scotland has a bad luck in euro2008
despite playing well i hope to watch scotland team in euro2012 and hard luck for celtic in champions league

moussamath said...

Dear Mr. David:
It's so kind of you to look for our work and post comments thanks alot
yor student M. Moussa