Monday, 7 May 2012

Gamification of Learning and The Ultimate Gaming Challenge

This past weekend was an amazing experience. My fellow Brock Ed Tech and Leadership graduates and I presented at the Ultimate Gaming Challenge in Niagara Falls in partnership with the DSBN and Microsoft.

It was great to see so many students interested in the value of educational gaming. While the main attraction to the Ultimate Gaming Challenge was the competition being held, we attracted a lot of traffic for the Gamification of Learning.

The conference was a great opportunity for me to show people how I have been using the Xbox Kinect in the classroom to support student learning. While the application of any game is open to the imagination, there are some games that are directly related to the Ontario curriculum. As an example, during the conference and two weeks ago I was using a game called Brain and Body Connection to support students in preparation for grade 3 and 6 EQAO. This game is full of "mini games". One game shows students a number sentence with a missing term, and the students have to kick the ball with the correct term to answer the question.
My grade 3 students practicing math on Kinect during my practicum.
Student engagement is 100% as one student is actually playing the game the other group of students is participating by watching and trying to answer the questions themselves. Important to note the promotion of kinesthetic learning in these activities (mirror neurons).

Another game that I use in the classroom is Just Dance Kids 2. Easy connection to phys Ed and DPA. The Students love it, and without even asking, everyone gets involved in the activity. (Lots of fun on rainy days!)

During the conference I asked students what kind of games they would like to play in the class and how they thought it would relate to student learning. They were so eager to give me an answer and you could see the excitement in their eyes because they thought it was so cool. I got a lot of difference answers and some really interesting reasons for using it. They gave me suggestions for history, math/stats, procedural writing, point of view, and visual arts. I think it's so important to find ways to integrate gaming in the classroom because it's something today's students spend ALOT of their free time doing!

Overall, I had an amazing experience and I look forward to presenting at the DSBN Connect 2012 event this week. Thanks goes out to Dr. Camille Rutherford and Dino Miele for giving my Brock colleagues and I this opportunity.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations Zach! There are some teachers that never present at conferences and here you are already! Keep in touch and let me/us know what other neat things you have up your sleeve.