Friday, April 14, 2006

ACEC Cairns, October 1-4, 2006

If all goes well, I will be involved in three sessions at the Australian Computers in Education Conference, Cairns, October 1-4, 2006.

1) A preconference workshop (Sunday, 1st October) aimed at people who are already teaching games programming - the focus is on pedagogy - how do we teach kids, not so much the software that is being used. A workshop to share ideas and strategies, boots and all, perhaps using the audience to share ideas on difficult kids. This is as part of the Australian School Innovation in Science, Technology and Mathematics (ASISTM) Game Making cluster of which I am a member.

2) Games in Learning Symposium (Bill Kerr, Tony Forster, Mark Piper)

This Symposium is structured to discuss the interplay between learning theory and games in learning.

Many and varied voices have come forward recently advocating the use of computer games in learning ...

There are still divisions between those who see games as good educationally and those who see them as bad or dangerous educationally (violent, addictive, another fad, edu-tainment)

There are also inertial (established curricula) and bureaucratic blocks (eg. filtering systems) in place making it hard for some teachers to implement games in education

There are also divisions amongst those who support games in education about the best way to go

Richard Van Eck has advance three possible ways in which games might be introduced into the curriculum:
  • have students build games from scratch;
  • have educators and/or developers build educational games from scratch to teach students;
  • integrate commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) games into the classroom

Bill Kerr and Tony Forster favour the first approach, students building games from scratch. Mark Piper favours the third approach, integration of COTS games into the curriculum.

3) Teaching game making, facilitated by blogging (non refereed paper)

Teaching game making was combined with student blogging for a Year 11 class. Students were required to solve game making programming challenges and then document their solutions in their blogs. This opened a new channel of communication in the class which facilitated learning.

Mid semester progress report here


Anonymous Graham Wegner said...

Bill, all of your sessions sound great. Tony has commented regularly on my blog and is always insightful so the two of you (plus Mark Piper) would be a great learning experience. I'm still to dip my toes into the gaming arena despite some solid advice from both of you regarding starting points but this is an area I feel very unsure of. But if I could get to Cairns.... maybe next year!

9:56 PM  

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