I have grown up with gaming. My family have always had the latest game console. I always liked Nintendo the best. My brother preferred Playstation. I liked Mario and all the games related to his adventures. When Nintendo released Super Mario All Stars on Wii I was so excited and bought it the day it came out. The game has so many memories associated with it, as does Donkey Kong, another Nintendo game rereleased for Wii. I am up to date with most games but I would never play most of them. I stick to fun, family style games. I prefer Wii, DS and Apple Apps.
I think gaming can have an important role in education. I know all my students have gaming consoles at home and they are at times more familiar with using iPhones and iPads than I am. We often have chats about certain app based games when my students see my iPad or iPhone. Gaming is a way to engage students, in particular, boys. I think if we can tap into some positive elements from games we will help our students learn.
I have used a website called Kerpoof with my students and have encouraged its use amongst my level (yr 1/2). Kerpoof is owned by Disney and offers lots of activities such as ‘Spell a Picture’, ‘Make a Movie’ and ‘Draw a Picture’. These activities encourage literacy skills and very effective lessons can be created around the program. The reason I think this site fits into this topic of ‘gaming’, is because throughout the site you earn coins and the students can spend coins on items to improve the site. I was amazed at how effective this was in motivating students. They were instantly engaged and wanted to earn as many coins as possible. They also talked about what to spend their coins on so they could make wise choices.
I recently came across this blog post written by Lynette Barr on her ‘Educator’s Guide To Innovation’ blog. Lynette provides some well thought out activities based on Mario Kart. It is definitely worth looking at!