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Nintendo a go-go Computer games: Learning tools for the digital native?

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  1. Nintendo a go-goComputer games:Learning tools for the digital native? Derek P Robertson Learning Teaching Scotland New Technologies for Learning Development Officer

  2. Young people are spending their time in a space which adults find difficult to supervise or understand -DEMOS Jan 2007

  3. Our new learning space… • Successful learners • Confident Individuals • Responsible citizens • Effective Contributors

  4. Prensky’s digital native? • What is a digital native? • Modern technology is now embedded in, and integral to, young learners lives: • digital interactive TV • the internet • Music downloads • computer games • cell phones • instant messaging • blogs • ebay • online avatars • MMORPG • instant messaging • sharing media

  5. Digital natives: what differs? • Does the digital learner learn in a different way? • They are used to receiving information at high speed • They like to parallel process/multi-task • They prefer graphics before text • They prefer random access (i.e. hypertext) • They work very well when networked • They thrive on instant gratification and frequent rewards • They prefer games to ‘serious’ work

  6. Prensky’s digital immigrant? • Have had to adapt to the ever increasing influence of technology on society • Retain their ‘accent’ • print out e-mails • write on word processing documents rather than do it on screen • refer to the manual first • ‘Did you get my e-mail?’ phone call

  7. Communication breakdown? • Do teachers (digital immigrants) speak a different language from young learners (digital natives)? • Is our methodology still based on how immigrants were socialised to learn? • slowly, step-by-step, linear, individually, seriously • Do immigrants implicitly assume that learners learn, and will continue to learn, the way they always have?

  8. A theoretical framework? • Social constructivism • Find out about what children already know and can do, value it and use this a s the foundation upon which future learning can be built • Importance of talk and collaboration in the learning process - a shared experience • Importance of cultural relevance and resonance

  9. Why computer games? • Whitfield Primary, Dundee, 1997-1999 • Games at Christmas • Problem solving with the Zoombinis • Using the Nintendo 64 to promote creative writing • Pupils were motivated and stimulated to learn • Encouraged and facilitated collaboration • Encouraged and facilitated learner reflection • A climate of active and knowledgeable participation • No fear in the approach to their learning

  10. Why computer games? • Wider reading and research: • Futurelab • Games and Learning (2005) • Teaching with Games (2006) • ELSPA • Unlimited Learning (2006) • Mark Prensky • James Paul Gee • Stephen Johnson • Gerard Jones • John Kirriemuir

  11. Enhanced learning? • Powerful motivational context • Enhanced learning through games • Science model • Problem solving • Knowledge about other curricular areas • Metacognitive development • Collaborative contexts • Affective domain

  12. Why games engage us? Games haverepresentation and story. That gives usemotion. Games are a form offun. That gives usenjoyment and pleasure. Games haveconflict/challenge/opposition. That gives usadrenaline. Games haveoutcomes and feedback. That gives uslearning. Games haverules. That gives usstructure. Games areadaptive. That gives usflow. Games areinteractive. That gives usdoing. Games haveproblem solving. That sparks ourcreativity. Games havegoals. That gives usmotivation. Games havewin states. That gives usego gratification. Games are a form ofplay. That gives usintense and passionate involvement. Games haveinteraction. That gives ussocial groups.

  13. It is time to garrotte the Game Boy and paralyse the PlayStation, and it is about time, as a society, that we admitted the catastrophic effect these blasted gizmos are having on the literacy and the prospects of young males…

  14. We demand that teachers provide our children with reading skills; we expect the schools to fill them with a love of books; and yet at home we let them slump in front of the consoles. They become like blinking lizards, motionless, absorbed, only the twitching of their hands showing they are still conscious. - Boris Johnson December 2006

  15. A new moral panic? promotes aggression social isolation causes obesity encourages sedentary lifestyle desensitises children cognitive stagnation established standards challenged

  16. The Consolarium • Scottish Centre for Games in Education: • Comprehensive range of commercial consoles and games • PS2, PSP, Xbox360, DS, Wii, • Alienware PC • Intel Mac • Interactive whiteboard • Wi-fi access • Some pictures

  17. What it aims to do • Promote games and learning • Act as a centre that teachers and educational managers can visit • Develop a community of interested partners • Education, academic & industry • Nurture, support and celebrate effective and innovative practice with games • Address cynicism and ‘moral panic’ associated with games based learning • Embed games and learning in ACfE

  18. Literacy through games • Text driven narratives encouraging reading and writing • Phoenix Wright, Hotel Dusk • Tracey Beaker, Shobna, Jungle Adventure • Myst with Tim Rylands • Developing a game character • Exploiting games related contexts • Crazy Talk • A little bit more adventurous… • Guitar Hero/Singstar thematic approach

  19. Numeracy and games • Increasing range of games that present cognitive challenge • Nintendo Touch Generations • Doctor Kawashima, Big Brain Academy • St Columba’s PS Nintendo project • 3 schools: one with Nintendo DS, one with Brain Gym, one control group • 10 week treatment period • Pre and post tests: Burnett Self Scale and age appropriate Maths test

  20. New Technologies • Games are incorporating the full range of new technologies to enhance the game experience: • Eye Toy • Dance Mats • Sonica Spanish • Ramba Studios: Phonics dance mat • Nintendo Wii • Buzz

  21. Game play in politics • Music, literature, art used as vehicles for political protest…now games : • Madrid • September 12th • Darfur is Dying • Learning about citizenship and politics? • Prime Minister election simulator • Games in History • David McDivitt

  22. Power to create games! • An ethos of creation and not just consumption is required: • Gamemaker • Thinking Worlds • Missionmaker • Neverwinter Nightsnew • Microsoft • Opening up Xbox coding

  23. Get involved! • Aberdeenshire is planning three pilot projects: • Star Qualities • Myst • Crazy Talk • If interested, contact Anna Rossvoll • Let me know if you do anything independent, ‘games’ related activity

  24. Let’s be realistic… • Successful learners require good teachers • This is another way through which we can engage digital natives • We need to explore this medium but we need to be open-minded • Schools needs to appreciate the changing societal landscape and evolve accordingly

  25. Thank you d.robertson@ltscotland.org.uk http://hotmilkydrink.typepad.com