Another dot in the blogosphere?

ICT class snapshots

Posted on: November 1, 2010

A huge thank you to Carolyn for taking these photos for our research project and for me! This is what my ICT class has looked like for the last few weeks.

Laptop and mobile smartphone use are not encouraged, they are mandatory! We use Dropbox for file sharing and distribution.

Each class starts with student teacher led demos and then a short briefing by me. They do not sit in the central area of the MxL for long!

They play video games at four stations in a round-robin fashion. Two are Wii stations and the other two are Flash-based game stations.

The fifth station requires them to record video of the teaching and learning that goes on at the other stations. They do so with their smartphones.

My trainees are also required to figure out the themes of each station and to retrieve resources on meaningful game-based learning. They do so with the help of QR codes that I leave at each station and code readers they install in their phones prior to class.

25 Responses to "ICT class snapshots"

I have enjoyed the past few weeks of games based learning and have managed to bring out several similarities and differences between games based learning and traditional classroom teaching. Thanks for this learning experience! (:

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Thanks for taking the time to comment, Cheryl.

I am glad that you learnt new concepts and enjoyed yourself in the process. I think that you will agree with me that the challenge lies in implementing these ideas once you are a fulltime teacher.

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You are most welcome – I actually enjoyed the photography sessions. It was great to see “ICT in action” – how technology can be used effectively in teaching and learning. Thanks for sharing. Thank you to your students too!

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Thanks again for taking the photos. I think they captured the spirit of the activities.

But I hope you don’t get arrowed by other folks to take photos for them as a result!

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What’s most interesting is the concept of GBL. I guess prior to the experience in GBL, none of us would have thought of using it as a teaching strategy. Reason is that gaming is often time wasting or the content is not related to studies etc. With this few weeks of fun, interaction and of course reflection. We have benefit much more through the participation. Hope to do more GBL!!

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Yes, experiencing games for yourself and being led on a purposeful journey are important for learning. The challenge is in applying what you have learnt because a) you do not have an authentic audience, and b) you get that audience only much later in your life as a student teacher.

But I think you can bridge that gap by actively reflecting (as you do in your blog) and being determined to do things differently but meaningfully.

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Ive enjoyed myself in this past sessions. it was an eye opening experience and ive come to see game based learning as an interesting method i may use with my students.
Thank you Dr Ashley. 🙂

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You are welcome! I hope that you will create similar experiences for your students in future.

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i think the GBL learning is an unconventional but brilliant concept to bring to secondary schools. theres was so much to learn(social skills, problem solving skills)from just playing the different games that most of the time, we play – just as means to spending extra time away.

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And if you harness that motivation and energy, imagine how much learning might take place!

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GBL learning has widen my scope and made me exposed to what teaching and learning can be. It makes me rethink again and again critically on what is meaningful learning, from the point of view of a teacher and a student, and how I can best benefit my students in future. I have gladly taken away 3 of the most powerful skills for teaching and learning from GBL: experiences the real life context, tapping on emotions and reflections.
Thanks Dr Tan, you have scaffolded the lessons very well and I have enjoyed the ICT module very much.

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You are welcome and your takeaways are very important.

If you haven’t realized already, you might get the same takeaways from other approaches. It just that GBL tends to emphasize them.

One note about context. Games don’t necessarily provide real life contexts but they can certainly provide more authentic contexts. By the latter I mean a context that is immersive, real and meaningful to the learner.

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Thank you for the experience Dr Tan, I have enjoyed your lessons very much, and even more so during GBL.

I think meaningful learning can be engaged with our without the use of ICT, but the games do immerse our students more into the subject and provide a different experience that may not be able to be attained from normal based classroom settings. However, it may not really be the tools that is the most important here, but it is the gaming concept towards learning. The games really make learning even more fun – and it is the energy and excitement present in a classroom that can motivate our students in the future to enjoy learning even more!

I hope I can create a meaningful and enjoyable learning environment for my students with the help of my understanding of GBL. Thank you again, Dr Tan!

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I am glad that you are enjoying the ICT class. I am also glad that you are beginning to see how you might use gaming approaches even though you might not play actual games.

I’d add that when you have your own classroom, leveraging on variety is key. If all you do is game, that can get old eventually. The same applies to frontal teaching. It’s important to introduce meaningful variety.

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I see, I understand. There needs to be a balance of fun and seriousness.

I will bear that in mind when I am planning my future lessons and teaching. I should focus towards achieving a meaningful goal for my students.
I will definitely look into other varieties.

Thank you Dr Tan!

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Coming to Mxl is my first time exposure to that kind of environment and as weeks passed, I realised that learning is beyond typical classroom arrangement. With incorporating GBL in teaching as well is a new tool that I find very interesting and interactive to be used in school. I have learned a lot in terms of how to use ICT in your class and I am very glad to have experienced all of these. Sure I have a lot to share once im a teacher in Brunei! Thank you again, Dr Tan. 🙂

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I am glad that you enjoyed yourself and learnt much. I am also happy to hear that you want to share your ideas with your peers. I hope that they are receptive to your ideas.

I also hope that you do not walk away with the impression that you need a room like the MxL to do the things we have done. Student-centred and station-based learning can be done in practically any environment if you have good ideas and the will to make things happen. But it does help to have a place like the MxL!

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Hi Dr. Tan. Personally, your lesson have been really fast-paced but nevertheless it’s has been a meaningful and enjoyable process throughout. I have really learnt alot technologically and undoubtedly, my favourite is definitely the GBL session as it is fantastic how we could have fun while learning! I have to say that what i like most in the entire GBL process is how the activities is tapping on our positive morality values indirectly. Considering that atmosphere plays a part in the our teaching deliverables, the MXL is a spot- on environment making the entire lesson more engaging as it definitely sets in the right mood upon lesson.

Thank you Dr. Tan for imparting your beneficial knowledge and the meaningful learning processes. 🙂

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The root word of “curriculum” is “race” as in a race to finish. If we have gone fast, it was to keep all of you on your toes.

But you may also have noticed how the first four weeks crammed lots of content in while the rest of the semester focused on experiences. We also slowed down significantly so that you could feel and think more about meaningful learning.

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10 years from now, i would probably look back at my years in NIE and remember GBL classes the most. It was the first lesson i ever had that involved games and that was something really different; having fun in class. It felt more like a leisure activity and a break from all our lectures and assignments. But after each reflection, i realised that we were actually learning different ways to teach our future students. Not to teach them in a way that makes our lessons all about fun, but to let them be engaged in the learning so that they will learn more.
Thank you Dr Tan for the experience and the knowledge. It is very inspiring and i will definitely apply it in future 🙂 i’m already looking for potential games to use.

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I hope that ten years from now you will still be teaching! (Teachers don’t last long nowadays.)

I also hope that it won’t take you ten years to convince your peers that GBL or other progressive ways of teaching are the way to go. The reality in schools has a way of squashing enthusiasm and idealism.

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Good evening Dr Tan,
Thank you for the giving me the opportunity as a student in learning through the use of games and as a beginner teacher in exploring games to include in my pedagogy.

Having games in class gets the students to be alert. This can be observed through high level of excitement from the tutorial group 3 during the game-based learning sessions; specifically from the student teachers at station 2: Wii (Trauma Center) and Station 4: Wii Sports. Station 5:The scavenger hunt would be my third choice because the new and cool experience of collecting clues from taking a picture of an image placed at each station. It will be a fun element game activity to include in treasure hunt but with precaution that the participants have mobile phones that synchronizes with the ICT tool used to uncover the clues. Station 1 and 2 on flash games should be skipped in the game-based learning activity and could be replaced with games that relate to our core subjects.

Games are capable to make the lesson enjoyable for students. This has been lacking in school nowadays. Enjoying the lesson decrease students’ pressure on assessments or tests and increase the understanding in the topic taught. This is another benefit that I have gained from experiencing 2 sessions of game-based learning that I have attended.

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I think you meant stations 1 and 3. Station 3 is about curricular content.

Station 1 will not go away because is it the basis for not only illustrating the concepts of contextuality and complexity but also the transfer of knowledge and skills learnt in one domain to another.

The gaming sessions aren’t just to create enjoyment. They are powerful learning experiences. The fun is a key driving factor but it is really just a means to an end.

The takeaways, the reflections and learning outcomes are what is important. I hope that all of you do not walk away from the sessions thinking and operating the way many teachers do, e.g., games only as rewards or peripheral activities. These gaming sessions were designed to make you rethink your personal teaching philosophy.

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I am usually a mountain tortoise when it comes to online tools except for games (I started Facebook just to play Pet Society actually). So when I had the module initially, I struggled quite a bit to get used to things that were taught and fortunately my classmates are very nice about it.

When we had the game based learning, suddenly the world just made so much sense to me! I understood that there are indeed some interesting tools/ game concepts that we can make use of, to aid us in our curriculum studies lessons. Previously, it was hard because I couldn’t really relate to tools that can help students in understanding the values and skills in my lessons, and now I think I really know what are the possible methodology to trigger their new-age interest in my lessons. (: So thank you for the fun and enlightening experience.

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This is a perfect example of one of the things I said in class: You must reach them to teach them!

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