The learning path for week 3 explored the idea of using computer games to transform learning, and had us using a game called ‘Dragon Box’. I played the game for a five to ten minutes and then it became frustrating because I didn’t know what to do next. Would students also experience frustration and a feeling of being a failure when exposed to some ‘games,’ online? I know the video, the game producer and the lecturer tried to make a big deal of how great the game was, but it didn’t stop me from feeling a ‘failure.’ Maybe algebra really is beyond me and no game is going to change that! I love ICTs but I’m not that into games. Games have to be suited to individual students’ needs, likes and interests.
It shows me that teachers have to be careful in the resources they choose and align them with only the students who will benefit from them. A game that one student responds to, another student may hate.
One great resource that I have seen and used in my practicums is one called , ‘Study Ladder.’ It’s a free to join site and has thousands of interactive activities, games and printable worksheets. Activities range from Foundation to Year 6. Teachers can create classes for their students to be part of. Teachers can assign particular tasks, activities and games at the correct level. Subjects range from Maths, English, Science and History. And it is aligned to the new National Curriculum. GREAT” Most of the activities have great appeal. The can be used as individual, group or whole class activities. They are definitely in the ‘Amplification stage’ at least.
Website is http://www.studyladder.com.au/
Another tremendously useful resource (kit of resources) is Woodlands, also a free site, full of interactive ideas and games, covering several subject areas (Maths, Literacy, Science,History) and levels. The only drawback is that t is English/American online activities and so, is not aligned to the National Curriculum.
In her blog “Got Game’ (posted 16th March, 2015), Erin Cavavan goes into some depth about online games and websites she has seen used. She also states how the learning paths have awaked her mind to the huge amounts of online resources that can be used to transform learning. It is a good read.