This week’s topic was digital blurring; we were asked the question at the beginning of our studies, ‘are you more digital in some parts of your life than in others’. My answer to that is absolutely. I use Facebook, Instagram, I have a website for my business and a blog attached to my website which I have to consistently work on. I work well with Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, I use Photoshop CS6 on a regular basis but this only scratches the surface of digital technology. Give me a game to play and I have no idea and no patience. I see my 8 year old daughter pick up and use any piece of technology she can get her hands on with ease she has no fear and she is prepared to give it a go which is something we adults do lack when it comes to technology. Students of today know more about technology than their teachers do and students will always know more about technology than their teachers (Prensky, 2007). We need to adopt a fearless approach to technology just as children do.
Incorporating further technology applications in upper primary school to extend on the skill set children already have, such as, digital portfolios to store images, multimedia, blog entries and virtual worlds; Flash (Adobe Flash) is a multimedia platform which can be used to add animation, video and interactivity to webpages; multimedia and mashups; cloud computing; gaming consoles such as Wii fit; Photoshop and Jing where videos can be created with narrations (Howell, 2012). Sadly, however, many teachers lack in this area or are not passionate to apply technology such as those mentioned in the classroom; Prensky (2007) explained teachers could benefit by applying technology in their classrooms; students often observe their teachers as technologically ‘illiterate’ due to their lack of fluency with modern technology, students are aware that this technology is needed for their future. It would be of benefit for teachers to learn to ‘divide the labour’, meaning work with students to understand how the technologies work, what they offer and to understand how to include them in assignments (Prensky, 2007)
After watching the Video ‘gaming can make a better world’ I can see Jane’s vision as I am someone who would love to fix all of the world’s problems and I am very passionate about that. I am not a gamer but if I had an opportunity to do good through a game I would be inspired and motivated to play one of these games. To be able to capitalise on the ‘I am better and more success’ in the gaming world (McGonigal, 2010) and utilise this attitude to motivate gamers and have gamers cooperate (McGonigal, 2010) with each other into solving world hunger I feel would be fantastic if it can be achieved. I was listening to JJJ radio the other day and there were game creators explaining their new games, one stood out to me; it was a game from their real life experience of losing their child to cancer, this inspired them to create a game which takes the user through the same experience. The creator believed it would help people going through a similar experience deal with their situation and it would give users who have never been through something like that the opportunity to experience the process of a death of a child through a game. I found this topic controversial as it does deal with a real life situation, not sure I would play it but I can see the pros and cons of a game like this. The way of the future I guess with games that do deal with real life issues.
As part of our work this week we were required to create a game with Sploder www.sploder.com. To begin with I had all sorts of trouble with creating the game, when I finally managed to produce the game it then came time for testing; that was where the fun began. I am not a gamer so for me to play my own game was hilarious, I couldn’t manipulate the controls very well at all.
Here is the link to my game Break the House
The first level is pretty easy, once you have scored 6 points you move to the next level which becomes harder as the house structure is reinforced. The house is made up of 3 levels; the bottom level is the strongest, middle medium strength and the top level the weakest.
I did find Sploder challenging , however, I can see the benefit of allowing students to create their own games as it requires critical thinking and problem solving. I really am not into games so I would say that was where my challenge lied. By allowing students to create games in the classroom and allow them to be creative and perhaps set them a task on solving a small problem, unlike world hunger, who knows they may have an innovative idea to help solve depression in young people or world hunger.
Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and Creativity. Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Victoria.
McGonigal, J. (2010). Gaming can make a better world. Retrieved 13 October 2014, from http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world#t-210832.
Prensky, M. (2007). How to teach with technology: Keeping both teachers and students comfortable in an era of exponential change. Emerging technologies for learning, 2(4), 40-46.