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Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The Positive Effects of Gaming

This evening as I was wandering through posts on Google+, I came across this post by the Frugal Dad.

Now much of this is not news. Many of us have been hearing for years that gamer's brains are getter at certain tasks and that their are physical differences between brains on games and those not. Most of us are also very aware of the educational benefits of gaming,  but didn't you know that video games were being used for pain management in hospitals?  Did you know that after 21 hours of play a week, the benefits are outweighed by negative impact.  I didn't, not until today, so I thought I would share.

The following Info graphic  is worth looking at, so do scroll down.

Gaming is good for you
Source: Frugal Dad

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

DVA Voting and Tickets

We have now officially closed voting on the DVA Videos. Thank you to everyone who voted on them! Tickets are available in both Secondary offices as well as the Upper Primary Office. Bring your tickets along for free refreshments on the night of the event.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Virtual Worlds in KS3

We have been working in virtual worlds in both 6th and 7th grade this month and it has been a roaring success.  It is a sign that you've hit it right on, when kids don't want to leave a lesson and groan when the bell rings, and this is usually what happens when we teach with virtual worlds.

This is the first year we have used PoraOra virtual world with any of our classes. Prior to this we had always used WhyVille to introduce our students to educational virtual worlds and to teach web safety and netiquette. The people at  PoraOra have worked hard to build educational in-world activities  that are linked to the British Key Skills for KS2. PoraOra is full of fun games that help students review and build their skills across subjects. For our 6th graders most of it is review and practice, and they have great fun doing it.

In 7th grade we are working with Reaction Grid for the second year running. Our 7th grade students are having a great time learning how to get around, exploring different regions and learning how to build in 3D with their avatars. We have even found a bit of time for shopping at Gridizen's market and customising avatars.

So far the building has been very simple as students learn how each basic shape can be modified, how to import textures and how to link prims together to create complex objects. Our objectives are many, learning how to get around, communicate and build in a 3d environment are core. Very soon however we will be applying these new skills in a very special way. Our students are going to research and then commence the construction of an environmentally friendly homestead. They will do so collaboratively with over 100 students working on it in total.

It is a very exciting project and the first time around for us in attempting something so ambitious. We will play it by ear and if needed, slow down and continue it next year. One thing is certain, the students and the teachers working in RG are thrilled with this project as were the 6s were with PoraOra, to the point of ushering a collective groan every time the bell signals the end of the lesson.

      My Horses

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Learning Through Games

This is a great TED Talk on how powerful the the learning is that takes place in when playing MMPOG.
Our World of Warcraft students are a great example of this. The learning that has taken place in-game, since January is exponential. This doesn't even take into account the additional learning they have engaged in through the novel study element of the club.

Games aren't bad and yes books are still good!