Fittingly enough, I had an interesting conversation this morning with one of my colleagues, the master chef. The other week he coached two students in the international competitions in Cervia, Italy with an extraordinary result: gold medal in class haute cuisine and silver medal in crotch decathlon.
His experience about where students fail are in situations where they often succeed when they play games. In his opinion, key skills for chefs are problem solving, planning, strategy and creativity.
He has already understood that he must be the link between video games and reality, that what one learns in a game needs students have translated to reality. If that can be done, you have succeed with reaching an higher goal with a small amount of effort.
But he is not using games in education.
Imagine what could be achieved if he did, as our students anyway play games during class...
He told me quickly this morning how you have to have a plan, use a strategy, that after you serve the first course have the main course to be ready to be served within 7 minutes (in our training restaurant). The serving itself must be done within 2-3 minutes, and so on.
We can't have five chefs who cut onions, then we have five cutting boards and five knives that must be cleaned. You need to communicate and collaborate.
This is the computer game all the way.
The worst thing is that it's actually HayDay in a nutshell.
Could this be an example how to use computer games in education? Make teachers understand how to benefit from games as the students anyway play? What if you allow one only game...? Will they learn more?
My next challenge in HayDay is to fill my riverboat with an unknown amount of raspberry jam, potato bread and potato pancakes.
As in the kitchen you have to be prepared, you have to have done a proper planning or else you won't succeed. When the boat arrives I have between 15 and 16 hours to get the challenge done. Raspberry jam takes 5 hours 57 minutes to make, potato bread 38 minutes and potato pancakes 1 hour 42 minutes. Most probably I will have three crates to fill of each product.
We're doing the math.
- One jar of raspberry jam (5h57min) and I need 3 berries
- One potato bread and I need 2 potatoes, 1 butter, 1 granulated sugar and 3 eggs.
- One potato pancake and I need 1 potato, 1 egg and 1 goat cheese.
I need three raspberries which grow on bushes and takes 18h before I can harvest, therefor I must have done this before and I must have a storage. My Jam Factory must be running 24/7.
A lot of resources as milk and eggs require to first make the food for the animals, feed them and after some additional time collect the stuff. Before you could start with the production of that particular ingredients.
A cow can be milked every hour, assuming you have entered the feed. 3x cattle feed is available from 1 corn and 2 soybeans. Corn takes 5 min to grow while soybean grows at 20 min. The cattle feed itself takes 9 minutes to produce.
Just to get the milk to the butter to the bread we are talking about the 20 + 8 + 60 min = 88 min or 1h 28 min. The butter takes 25 min and now, before even started with the bread we've spent 1 h 53 min. The bread will take another 38 min, so 2 h 31 min. Will I be able to produce let say 3x3 breads within 15 hours? (probability theory)
Will it be even possible to make it?
In real life you would have given up by now.
But, now it's a game.
It's a challenge.
You give yourself the heck you can do it.
Imagine if we could get that feeling, the attitude, into the classroom.
Communicate, collaborate, make it happen as a team. Skills you do need in a kitchen so you don't end up with five chefs cutting onions...