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                  Project Description                                            Pupils opinion

   

 My learning course with Videogames

  

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The pupils presents their videogames

Methodology The Intelligent Classroom SEK

Project goals

Videogames are a very powerful and motivating tool which, well applied, can improve the learning process. How can we include this tool in our curriculum ensuring it’s valuable for our learners? When students create their own videogames they are taking action to prove that they have internalized what they are learning.  

Objectives:

To prove that they have internalized what they are learning through  the creation of their own videogames. 

Develop their passion for learning.

The planning and origin of the project

Including videogames in the SEK Educational System started as an initiative to create an extracurricular Including videogames in the SEK Educational System started as an initiative to create an extracurricular activity called “Digital Creativity”. Said activity has been in place at the school since 2004 and through it students learn how to focus their creativity using digital resources, such as image editors, video creators, robotics, flash animations, etc. Students create their own photomontage, animated comics, films, programs for robot control and their own videogames. 

Given the success of this activity and looking for the ways to exploit student motivation “to do things”, we decided to use videogames as a way to construct learning and leading our students to take action.

The curriculum context of the project

SEK is a pioneer Educational Institution with over one hundred years of history dedicated to the development of all its pupils’ potential through pedagogical innovation.  In this framework, we have embedded in our curriculum a project consisting of the development of videogames by primary education pupils. 

Our school’s philosophy has its foundations on the Aula Inteligente (Intelligent Classroom), where teamwork, projects and technology are some of our strengths. Starting from this methodology, we proposed the project SEK&GAMES as a new way of putting technology at the service of the curriculum. 

The international programme PYP that we teach at our schools faces the curriculum objectives through projects called Units of Inquiry. In said transdisciplinary Units there is collaborative work from the teachers of each subject, including one-subject-teachers.  

This Project has been developed in the seven schools belonging to the SEK Educational Institution: SEK-Ciudalcampo, SEK Santa Isabel, SEK-EL Castillo ( Madrid), SEK-Cataluña (Barcelona), SEK-Alborán (Almería), SEK- Atlantico (Galicia), SEK-Dublín (Dublín) y SEK- Los Alpes. MEGEVE (Les Alpes). The year groups selected have been 4th and 5th grades of primary education.

 The technology context

Our students have a technology room where the spend one hour per week and they count on a 25 netbooks trolley for their class work. Among other technology resources they have access to miniboards, usb microphones, cameras, interactive whiteboards, etc. Throughout the school there is a wireless internet connection.

Due to their economic situation, all our students have access to a computer and an internet connection at home.

The project management 

The Project is divided in three phases. The first one is the planning of the project; fixing objectives, needs and schedule. The second part corresponds to the creation of videogames. Starting with the Units of Inquiry set for each grade, pupils have developed a videogame in which they show their knowledge about a specific topic. Each student created a videogame about a historical event or a relevant fact which they wanted to learn about. The creation process is supervised by the teachers, not just the technology teacher who provides technical support but also subject teachers. Once the videogame was finished, it was assessed with the criteria established by mutual agreement.

The third part of the Project is the most exciting. It is here where pupils share the videogames which they have created with the rest of the class and their Windows live community. They play each other’s game and they learn through play.

The teachers assist the students in revising concepts taught in various learning areas, expand students’ understanding of what learning is and how learning can be transferred to other situations.

In order to provide pupils and teachers with the required information a blog space was created where all the project documentation and necessary video-tutorials are available.

Live@edu has provided the infrastructure needed to put in contact all parties involved: pupils, teachers and parents. Through Windows live we have created a videogame creation group with daily feedback.

The most widely used ways of communication were: Windows live spaces, blog, email, msn, twitter and videoconferences.

What was impact on learning for Pupils/Students?

SEK&GAMES has brought a change to the way we carry out class activities. Pupils don’t just create a text or a multimedia presentation as the final product of their project. With videogames they can develop all their creativity and they can give expression to their skills and knowledge.

For our students, this has been a very fun and fresh experience, because up till now they had never used videogames with an educational purpose. The great motivational power of videogames has been our project’s great ally. Besides, the wide range of possibilities within videogame creation allows to cater for all abilities, making it very simple to differentiate and focus on students with special needs.

Videogames have provided a supportive and productive learning environment by catering for students with diverse needs and supporting collaborative learning.

As this project was developed among several schools, the resulting learning community has served to reinforce the links between pupils everywhere, leading to global learning where everybody participates regardless of their economic status.

The students have internanalized what what they are learnt through the creation of their own videogames and the most important they have developed their passion for learning.

What was the impact on learning for other teachers and the wider school community?

SEK&GAMES has introduced a new perspective into assessment. Assessing a videogame can be a very subjective thing in which many criteria can be taken into account: appropriateness of its educational contents, entertainment, competition, and many others. In order to carry out this assessment the teachers have participated but the key role has been that of the students’ because they assess their own partners’ videogames. The rubrics for the assessment of student created videogames have been developed by them all. Pupils have felt highly valued as their participation has been sought in such an important decision. This has consolidated a true learning community. 

For teachers this project has meant a highly innovative means to introduce technology in the classroom; one step further, since it’s the very students who actually build their learning process through their initiatives. Every teacher’s cooperation has been invaluable because in order to plan a transdisciplinary unit every teacher has to contribute. 

This has proved to be an activity that went on beyond the classroom.

What was the impact on learning for you as a teacher?

As a professional, SEK&GAMES has been a revealing experience for me: achieving a motivating educational project which fills them with passion for learning, a positive attitude to learning and to sharing their knowledge with other people using technology.  

In conclusión I would like to share some quotes by our students: 

“You can spend hours at it, you never get tired and on top of it all you’re learning.” 

“I never liked exams, but making a videogame is more fun. You don’t get stressed.”

 

     

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