19 september 2014

Games are here to stay: accept it!

Oh God, another day, same discussion, same topic.
We have to ban the games from the lessons. To ban games, it's the only way of proper learning (yeah right). The war goes on, those teachers have and will always have problems with games during class. Even though they try to prevent the gaming with software as netsupport the students will try to reach the games anyways. And please, that discussion, all that negative could you all use to something positive!

Who has the biggest issue with the gaming?

You: the teacher!

  • We know they play and will play games during class.
  • What happens if you control the game they play?
  • What happens if you allow them to play one only game that you decide?
According to my colleague T the only way to control the gaming is that you forbid them to play. Sorry, not working. The only option you have, as a teacher, is to make your course, class, lesson so interesting that your students don't want to play. But to forbid the games won't work.

The discussion we had this morning, of course I am nuts that allows games. Because my colleagues can't accept the fact they can't understand you actually can trigger more learning connected to the subject with a game.

Stop teaching 21st century kids the 19th century way! They deserve to be taught the 21st century way even if you was taught another old fashion way. Fail and accept it. As you can see, a never ending war :D

So how can I be so sure there's learning going on with games?
I run the same course (different group) as my colleague T and he doesn't accept games. Everytime I talk with him he's frustrated and angry over the students not taking his knowledge seriously. Me, on the other hand, challenge the students within a game and have them to solve problems.

Another interesting fact.
When it comes to traditional learning in school it don't have to be harder than a 50% chance to learn. Every second time you have to succeed in your learning process, otherwise you give up. When it comes to games it can be as hard and difficult that you know there's only a 20% chance to win. With other words, four times of five you can fail if there's still a chance to conquest and reach your epic win.

Does this actually work?
Sure does.
Got proof on this yesterday.
In my class I have nine students, six of them have some kind of challenge (dyslexia, dyscalculia and more). They give up with school issues way too easy, but what comes to problem solve in Minecraft, the are determinated to succeed and overcome the problem (I give them).

When you confirm their interest of games actually can be useful, they also use this new insight in school tasks. If you affirm this skill, illuminate the unintentionally learning and encourage them to use it you have created problemsolving, creative, motivated students.

They are not only learning computers but also language, math, technical engineering, problem solving, be creative, technology, collaborate and much more, and those skills are just the bonus of my actually purpose!

Skills they see they have gained in games they also has a better chance to use in school work. With a 19th century way of learning (2014) many of my students would not pass the course and also be socially excluded. Now they are average students like anyone else, or better, or actually one of the best in the class.

The key?
I started to teach the 21st century kids in a 21st century way.

One of my students has turned from being the best to be the worst, to actually be the best of the best. He does all the school work without giving up and he does all the Minecraft quest and taking them one step further.

Even though he use YouTube tutorials he problem solve. One quest was to make one digit clock, he made it work with two digits. He also constructed a redstone calculator. Yesterday I told him I had so much faith in him I +op him at our school server and the next step is to make a working calculator with command blocks.

See the light!
My colleague M, which I work close with, finally took some time looking at Minecraft and what the students have done. He saw the logic gates, and the logic - i mean - what you actually can use it to. And he also understood what I've come to understand: you don't have to master the game as long as you steering the ship, where you want your students to go (and learn).

If you allow one game and that game only, challenge your students in that game, would that result in positive learning?

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