Weekly Reflection: Gaming and learning

As you can see I am playing reflection catch up.  This term we have increased the number of tasks that involve the phonomenon of gaming based learning and teaching.  WOW!  What a great way to learn and practise a piece of learning.

In term2, I introduced the maths game, SUMDOG, as a method for learners to practise different math concepts.  What a success.  On the first day, the class downloaded the app and signed up – all very boring and time consuming but a frequent part of digital learning.  A large part of exploration of new tasks is applying an inquiry approach.  The students are given a set time to ‘explore’ and to inquiry into the apps usefulness and appropriateness.  Then, as a whole class we complete a ‘PMI’ and assess if the app is and can

1. interest and motivate us to learn

2.  help us to learn

3.  is fun – learning has to be fun

What a marvellous response.  One boy exclaimed,

“Miss Turner, this is like a home game.  It is not even like school work.  These games are cool”.

Another boy piped in, “oh, I want to play SUMDOG all the time”.

I was gobsmacked with the level of engagement and motivation to do maths.  Most learners were not really aware that as they compete against the computer and their peers they were practising multiplication, division, addition, and much more.

An awesome feature that is so effective for teachers is that the application monitors what the students are working on and adjusts the content to suit.  In addition, (sounds like a uni type essay!) you as the teacher can set the content that you want students to work on.  Finally, the app is highly competitive.  Boys thrive in competitive contexts and I have noticed how motivated and engaged my boys are when they play and his is amped up when they play and compete against each other.

SUMDOG has become a daily part of our math program as a great way to practise math knowledge and skills for short periods.  And it is html capable so is accessible with an iPad.  Great subscription and a winner in our class.

 

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