Putting Pacmanin the Classroom Karen Anderson
Introduction Karen Anderson CP3 2007: It’s Not Just A Game – totally different Currently teaching – independent boarding school Previously – state sixth form Successfully introduced games design into both Differences – gender, ages, enthusiasm
Learning Objectives To explain what games are and why they are important To show how games can be used in education – in all subjects and for all ages To show how you and your pupils can make your own games for education
What is a game? Powerful media form – interactive Huge range – massive worlds to single screens, immersive to casual Part of culture – characters part of contemporary psyche Being used in more fields – entertainment, education, advertising,
Why are games important? Exercises the brain Encourages problem solving and choice-making Builds confidence (difficulty curve) Improves dexterity Improves multitasking
Why are games important? Helps children learn pattern recognition Practice for the real world / encourages real world activities Fun without real consequences Demonstrates choices have consequences for characters
The questions I’m always asked... Do computer games promote violence? Should we be encouraging children to stay indoors, sitting slouched in front of the TV playing games?
How can games be used in education? Pupils making games - as a discrete area of ICT/Media - as part of any subject Pupils playing games Support teaching methods – not replace them
Off-the-shelf games ... available in all good games shops...
Barriers I don’t play games... It will be difficult to manage the lesson... It’s difficult to set up... It’s expensive...
Break the Barriers I don’t play games... This workshop will give suggestions Only need to play the one you plan to use Pupils may suggest future ones
Break the Barriers It will be difficult to manage the lesson... Have a plan “If you misbehave, we won’t play games ever again...”
Break the Barriers It’s difficult to set up... Most consoles – 3 cables – only fit in one socket IT Technicians Use pupils equipment e.g. DS
Break the Barriers It’s expensive... Don’t have to use latest equipment Original Xbox – about £20 - games - 4 for £20 Free games online Emulators FREE!!!! CHEAP!!
Setting up It’s this easy...
Bespoke games ... made by YOU and your pupils...
How can they be used? You make games • Specific to your subject • Specific to your pupils • Make ‘boring’ topics interesting • New approach to difficult topics
How can they be used? Your pupils make games • Further understanding of a topic • Help each other learn • Encourage creativity • Play each other’s games • Work in groups
Barriers Surely it’s really hard? • Designed to be as easy as possible • Most designed for children • Try in this workshop But maybe it’s expensive? • The games design software I will show you is FREE!!! FREE!!!!
Scratch scratch.mit.edu/ Made by MIT Designed for 8 year olds and older I’ve used with 11, 15, 17 This is what we’ll use today
Adrift www.adrift.org.uk Creates text adventures (aka interactive fiction) Easy to use – games depend on creator’s imagination Many examples available on internet – search for interactive fiction (esp Lost Pig aka Grunk and 9:05)
Hot Potatoes hotpot.uvic.ca by Half-Baked Software Inc (University of Victoria) Hot Potatoes 6 becomes free on 1st September 2009 Creates quizzes, gap-fills, crosswords, jumbled sentences, matching exercises, etc
While we’re talking puzzles ... A couple of websites I used recently: www.puzzle-maker.com/CW/ www.teach-nology.com/web_tools/word_search/
PowerPoint Made by Microsoft, probably something you have already Although made for presentations, using hyperlinks and a bit of creativity, can make games Example...
Web 2.0 Use their existing interests in your lessons Facebook Many games available e.g. puzzles, logic, shapes Second Life The EduIslands, Foul Whisperings (Macbeth), Genome Island (science), International SpaceFlight Museum
Don’t forget... Board Games Great way to get pupils sitting round, doing something together Use the same elements as computer games Could have different ones on different tables Need communication, strategy, etc Examples: Game of Life – Twists and Turns (Hasbro), Cluedo – Discover The Secrets (Hasbro), Cranium, Dingbats, Risk, Chess, etc
Scratch We will try the basics together Then, in your pairs, you will each make different games If time, you can play each others’ games Take a copy of your games
Scratch Open the software....
Scratch Click on Control in the top left
Scratch Select and drag it to your script area
Scratch Click on Motion in the top left
Scratch Select and drag it to your script area Attach it to the yellow block of script
Scratch Click on the green flag Your sprite should move forward each time you press the green flag
Scratch So we’ve made your sprite move Let’s now make it walk
Scratch Click on the Costumes tab Notice how there are two costumes for your sprite
Scratch Click back onto the Scripts tab Click on Looks in the top left
Scratch Select and drag it to your script area Attach it to the blue block of script
Scratch Test that by clicking on the green flag
Scratch Choose the Control tools Add this block: to your other blocks and change the number to 0.5 secs
Scratch Choose the Motion tools Add another ‘move 10 steps’ block to the others Choose the Looks tools Add another ‘switch to costume’ block Change it to say ‘costume 1’
Scratch Test that by clicking on the green flag (while the script is outlined in white, it means it is still running)
Scratch Now we have the sprite taking two steps, we need to have it continue to walk Open the Control tools and drag the ‘repeat’ block on your script area
Scratch Pull the repeat block so it is around everything except your start block
Scratch Test that by clicking on the green flag How can we make it walk faster? How can we make it walk further? How can we make it take more steps?
Scratch Our sprite moves but, if it keeps walking, it will disappear off the edge of the screen We need it to turn around and walk back
Scratch Open the Motion tools (blue) Drag to under your ‘wait’ block Drag another to under your other ‘wait’ block