Game On: Gaming Enrichment Cluster

game on! 003For 14 weeks, 15 boys have explored how gaming can be used in education.  They have used xbox with Kinect, Nintendo DS, Gamestar Mechanic, and Minecraft.  They also skyped with Matthew Winner, librarian in Ellicott City Maryland, who uses Nintendo Wii with his students.  Tonight at our enrichment cluster fair, they will share their great learning.

As the boys have played games, they have thought carefully about how each game might be used in classrooms around our school. Their main goal was to develop a Google Doc that lists all of the games that they played and how they might be used.  I was responsible for typing into the doc as they talked after playing each on! 002

A small group of boys played Gamestar Mechanic, which teaches game design.  Their exploration has peaked the interest of a few teachers in using this tool for critical thinking, problem solving, and game design in order to support other game design projects in those classrooms.

Two students worked together in Minecraft to create a math-based game.  They plan to set this up for classrooms to try and hopefully will think about how they might tweak the game to be more  user-friendly.

Each boy sat down with me to tell me what they loved about gaming in education.

I saw tremendous focus from these boys.  They were fully engaged with few behavior issues coming up.  They found many uses for games in math, but they also saw how the games could spark creative writing, physical activity, problem solving, and teamwork.  They are now releasing their learning into our school by sharing their Google doc and video.  I hope that their exploration will pay off in many classes and small groups signing up to use the xbox and other games in creative ways in the classroom.

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