EDET 637 Week 6

Link to my video! 

All games are not created equally. Some games engage players in 3-D environments that motivate them to think strategically and logically, some help players recall basic facts, while others role-play in multiplayer games (Hirumi, 2010). There are so many different ways games give teachers the opportunities to differentiate in the classroom.

First of all, games have levels: easy, medium, and hard. The teacher can choose where to place their student based on their level. Another way games provide opportunities for differentiation in the classroom, is students are able to work at their own pace. I use Reflex Math and Raz Kids with my students. They don’t move onto the next level, until they have mastered the previous one. These games, Raz Kids in particular, provide additional supplements, like modeled fluency, comprehension questions, lesson worksheets, and voice recording, to name a few (Raz-Kids).

According to Hirumi, games can be applied at various levels to aide in curriculum. Teachers can choose how to integrate gameplay into their content. The first level is the event level, which are games played to address one or more instructional events within a lesson(s). In Level II, the lesson level, students play to complete the instructional lesson. In Level III, which is the unit/module level, students play to complete a unit, across lessons. In Level IV, which is the course level, students play an entire course that is all the lessons and units. And lastly, level V, which is the program level, where students complete the game requirements and are eligible for certificates. Students have to complete each level before moving onto the next.

Teachers are given different opportunities on how they implement game play, based on their students’ needs supported by Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction (Hirumi, 2010). “Each of Gagné’s nine events is associated with and designed to facilitate a specific step in the cognitive information processing theory of learning and should be addressed to facilitate achievement of the objectives…” The nine events according to Hirumi are:

  1. Gaining learners’ attention
  2. Informing learners of objectives
  3. Recalling prior knowledge
  4. Presenting stimulus (Content information)
  5. Providing learning guidance
  6. Eliciting performance
  7. Providing feedback
  8. Assessing performance
  9. Enhancing retention and transfer

Gagne’s events are teacher-directed, which offers opportunities for differentiation, by the teacher being responsible for specifying objectives, selecting, organizing and delivering the content, defining student assessment and making sure students apply that knowledge.

Lastly, games provide opportunities for differentiating in the classroom through cognition. “Gameplay has cognitive benefit because games have shown to improve attention, focus and reaction time… games have motivational benefit and induce positive mood states,” (Shapiro, 2014). Not only do games help with differentiation, but also it improves behavior.

Games provide many opportunities for differentiation in the classroom. It helps students recall basic information, it allow students to go at their own pace, they offer additional supplements like assistive technology and they go by levels. Games are beneficial and help with differentiating instruction in the classroom.

Resources:

Hirumi, A., & N. (2010). Playing Games in School Video Games and Simulations for Primary and Secondary Education. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/docs/excerpts/gaming-excerpt.pdf

Ossola, A. (2015, February 26). Teaching in the Age of Minecraft. Retrieved February 25, 2016, from http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/02/teaching-in-the-age-of-minecraft/385231/

Raz-Kids. (n.d.). Retrieved February 16, 2016, from https://www.raz-kids.com/

Shapiro, J. (2014, June 13). Benefits of Gaming: What Research Shows. Retrieved February 25, 2016, from http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/06/13/benefits-of-gaming-what-research-shows/

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3 thoughts on “EDET 637 Week 6

  1. Hirumi’s Nine Events of Instruction really break down the teaching process. Instruction is complex and to see it broken out into these specific steps had me reflecting on my teaching. Do I always provide my students with each one? I’d have to say sometimes but not always.

    I also use Raz Kids in my classroom and find it is very engaging. It provides a lot of repetition and if it wasn’t in a game format, students would lose interest very quickly. It’s a good example of the motivating quality of technology. I like to listen to student recordings later and award them big bonus points. Students love it when their point totals take a big jump. And they are further motivated to start another episode.

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  2. I like how you talk about the differences in types of games available. Even though I know this to be true the focus of my blog posting was very different. I definitely think this is a key point though. This to me says that differentiation is inherent to game play. You can easily make modifications to fit learner need. I think about battleship and how I recently came across an example of periodic table battleship. This was an easy modification of a popular game and my students loved it!

    I also love the pacing of games. This definitely helps with differentiation. One student might get farther than another but both learn. This is a great aspect of games. I never have to worry about students finishing early.

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  3. Gaming does lend itself to differentiation. I hadn’t thought of the different levels within a certain game (easy, medium, hard) but that is built-in differentiation right there! I find it rather interesting that most kids tend to gravitate to the levels that are just right for their learning ability. Good insights!

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