What does the way you play have to do with embracing change and how does this impact you as a professional?
When I think about playing in the classroom, especially at the kindergarten level, I think about playing with building blocks, linking cubes, or anything that’s hands-on. I don’t think about playing on the iPad. We have some apps, i.e. ShowMe, Splash Math, Vocabulary Spelling City, Doodle Buddy, … to name a few. My kindergarteners school day ends at 1:30, so I barely have time to “play” with them. I don’t know about the other kindergarten teachers, but I hardly ever give my students “free time.” I remember reading how playtime is an important aspect to learning through technology. “In a world of near-constant flux, play becomes a strategy for embracing change, rather than a way for growing out of it,” (Thomas, loc 560).
My first graders however, are on the iPads daily. They practice their math, spelling, and sometimes do their social studies/science projects on them. This isn’t necessarily playtime, but it’s more of an additional supplement, and the kids enjoy it. For example, Vocabulary Spelling City, it’s a game about learning to spell. There’s hangman, fill the in the blank, compound words… it’s engaging, fun, and the students have a good time. Sometimes I’ll use Doodle Buddy with both K-1, to practice writing letter sounds, and sight words.
There are three basic principals in this new culture of learning, (loc, 577) which Thomas describes: 1. The old ways of learning are unable to keep up with our rapidly changing environment. 2. New media forms are making peer-to-peer learning easier and more natural. 3. Peer-to-peer learning is amplified by emerging technologies that shape the collective nature of participation with those new media.
Gamifi has a lot of interesting, educational games in all subjects for all ages. I have heard a lot about Minecraft, however I have never played it. I heard teachers integrating games such as Wii into their curriculum. They believe games solidify learning, and introduce students to the new world. “Why gaming,” was the question in the “Primary Years and Early Childhood Educational Panel” video on Gamifi. A lot of the teachers said that they should incorporate games because kids love games, they’re engaged and enrich the classroom environment. Some primary grade games include how to care for something, responsibility, as well as physical motor skills, using the Xbox.
I want to find games that my students will love and stay engaged. I think that it’s important to incorporate both physical and digital games into the curriculum. I will definitely be playing with my students, because not only will they be learning, I’ll be learning.
GamifiED OOC – Google. (n.d.). Retrieved September 23, 2015, from https://plus.google.com/u/0/110129890717354735708/posts
Primary Years and Early Childhood Education Panel – Why Games? – Google. (n.d.). Retrieved September 23, 2015, from https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/c7ge6sj9scrhnh4tmgi4jrjurv4
Thomas, D., & Brown, J. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, Ky.: [CreateSpace?].