I spent the morning at TeachmeetPlay which took place at Beaumanor Hall in Leics. It was a much smaller scale teachmeet than others that I have been on but had the advantage of being in the study centre with a suite of computers so that everyone could immediately explore the ideas that had been shared.
As always, I have mixed feelings about a lot of the presentations that I see. So many people nowadays are using ipads, itouches, and other devices in school that I feel that I am being left behind. We don’t have any of those things in school and no thoughts of getting them in the near future.
However, as I was listening to the different presentations, it seemed to me that a common theme was emerging which had nothing to do with technology and what you can afford but was all about motivation and engaging pupils. Whether you are using games based learning to stimulate pupils in foundation stage or lower juniors, whether you are going down the creative curriculum route or using codes or kinect, the message from everyone today was about motivating pupils to learn.
The message from today for me was not to wish that I had a lots of lovely new equipment (although a working whiteboard would be nice) but to think about how I can use those ideas with the resources that I have. Games based learning doesn’t need an ipad, I have used Myst along with hundreds of others and last time I looked it was still available very cheaply for PC. There are probably other programs out there that can be obtained freely or at limited cost.
We haven’t gone down the creative curriculum route but have always tried to make our subject teaching as relevant and cross curricular as possible. Games seem to have a lot of potential for having the capacity to be used to develop this. I definitely agree with Bill Lord about needing the pedagogy to go with the game. It’s no use motivating the pupils by using a game if it doesn’t actually lead to learning.
So next steps?????????????
I need to spend some time looking around to see what resources I can find that might enhance my teaching in different areas. Games or other resources that will motivate my pupils but also help them to learn.
Thanks to everyone who presented at Teachmeetplay today. I am always inspiredby and also in awe of those who have such a mastery of new technology