The Adventures of Library Girl: Game Based PD for an Epic Win

See on Scoop.itEnglish Classes

Maybe it’s because it was the first one we read or maybe it’s just because McGonigal provided so many concrete examples of how game based learning/play impacts motivation, self perception and, ultimately, achievement …
See on www.librarygirl.net

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Blackboard Communicate- Elluminate

Wow! just participated in a great session on online games for children. Neil Butler was running it and it was advertised on Twitter. It is a great way to share ideas and very easy to use.I have used Elluminate before, many moons ago, but this looks faster and much more user friendly. Here’s a picture.

Elluminate Session

Words with Friends

Words with friends has become very popular in my classes, particularly among the boys, who are trying, and often succeeding to beat me. It is a Scrabble like game where you challenge others and play on your devices over the Internet. As there are numerous cheats around for it the competitive element wins out over the learning element, however, it IS a word game and students are enjoying it, so I’ll take my wins where I can. It is a worthwhile way of doing some vocab practice and I don’t want to make it too didactic.

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i-pod touch – new toy or great educational resource?

GradePad App
GradePad App

Well, the answer is really both. I have spent a lot of time lately playing games on this fantastic device (purely in the interests of education you understand!) but it is also a brilliant tool for teachers, especially if your school is kind enough to let you use the wifi (please guys).

I am using the QuickOffice app to create, edit and download documents in Word, Excel and PDF format, there is GradePad software which allows me to assess students on the go – I will be trialling this for real tomorrow as my students do their oral presentations, and you can obviously get emails and search the web. There is even a WordPress app to allow you to update your blog on the go if you have  a WordPress blog.

As you can see there is enough there to justify buying one for any teacher interested in technology, but wait, there’s more. I also have a good dictionary on mine and if you were a language teacher the resources are amazing. I have study guides from Schmoop, Cliff notes and LitCharts for texts that I teach. They have great features such as character and theme profiles, summaries of chapters/scenes as well as the ability within the i-pod to copy and paste text into another document so that I can create worksheets etc. They all have author background study and some have the ability to zoom into character maps as well.

I also have mad libs, which every English teacher knows are a great way to cover the basics of parts of speech in a hilarious way. As well as a great grammar quiz and many, many others.

Of course, as the ipod also connects to YouTube, you can view short films on the go too. My next purchase needs to be a small data projector for the ipod!

I am really interested in hearing more about this from other people, so if others have great apps that they have discovered I’d love to hear about them.

Second Life

84.jpgSecond life can help students to learn in their first life. What a great concept. I’ve been asked to explore this as something that we may look at in the future. I am a complete novice when it comes to online games so I’m in the early ‘research’ stage ( I love research!)

An online article here is a good place to start as is the fabulous third instalment of ‘Back to School with the Class of Web 2.0’ which is a really comprehensive list and commentary of ways to use the web for learners and teachers. A one stop shop really.

As far as Second Life is concerned I was discussing this the other day with my e-learning buddy at school (well really my mentor) and we were coming up with ideas for how to use it, I was thinking for English that it would be really useful to create a literary world, say Shakespeare or something that students don’t normally love as much as teachers (at least initially). You could have characters from the plays in there to interview and chat and students could walk around and experience the world and really immerse themselves in it.

I am learning to run before I walk, so more on this later. Sometimes the ideas run way ahead of reality, which is exactly what I love about using technology as a tool for school. However, I think I may need a second life just to get everything done!

video games in the classroom?

This is something I must explore more deeply. It sounds like a fabulous engaging way of teaching, but I would need to explore much further to see what sorts of learning activities could be undertaken. Obviously we could tick the box on collaboration and teamwork, also independent thinking. Depending on the game there could be elements of creativity, especially if students are encouraged to adjust things to suit themselves. I read an article in the VIT i-teach flyer (I can’t really call it a newsletter) that discussed machinima use in classrooms as used in Golden Square Secondary College and taught by ACMI. I will investigate this further.

This could be a new wip.(like I need one!) This blog here has some very interesting things to say about this. The ACMI link is here. This is a very good reason to visit the new Game On exhibition at ACMI too, hmm, research.