An interesting week where I considered the topic of Digital Blurring and how personal use of technology can be transferred to many life applications, particularly the teaching and learning environment.
Digital Blurring is also referred to as the transition between the physical and the online world (Northwestern University, n.d.).
I took a closer look at gaming and how playing online games can actually develop life skills. A TED talk by Jane McGonigal (2010) raised a number of controversial ideas around gaming and, the traits and skills of gamers.
An often debated subject around the value and usefulness of gaming, McGonigal provided me with another side with radical statements such as: “gaming can save the world” and “using game-play to solve the world’s urgent problems”.
Using Sploder, I created my own online game. The game, entitled ‘Beaubots’, was inspired by my four and a half year old grandson, Beau who loves video games. This would be suitable for younger children between the ages of 2 and 5. The objectives of the game could assist in the development of fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, cognitive development, planning and strategy skills. (McDevitt, et al., 2013).
Or use this link: http://www.sploder.com/games/members/gwensings/play/beaubots/
I acknowledge that I need to build on my existing technology skills to succeed in a modern classroom environment. With new technology emerging at a rapid rate, as a teacher I need to prepare my students for the future. I can do this by building on their existing skills and engaging them with opportunities to experiment with new and existing technologies (Howell, 2012) as they become available and, if suitable for a classroom environment. For example, Scratch, Sploder and other interactive and creative programs I have learnt to use over the last couple of weeks.
Gaming for me falls under the categories of Distributed and Social constructionism (Howell, 2012). In Distributed Constructionism, networks are used to collaborate, problem-solve, strategize and construct. For example, games such as World of Warcraft and Minecraft. In Social Constructionism, games such as the Sims allow players to create a perceived social reality (Howell, 2012).
Howell, J. (2012) Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. Oxford University Press: South Melbourne, Australia.
McDevitt, T., Ormrod, J., Cupit, G., Chandler, M., & Aloa, V. (2013). Child Development and Education. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia.
McGonigal, J. (2010). Gaming can make a better world. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can,_make_a_better_world?language=en
Northwestern University Office for Research (n.d.). Blurring the lines between physical and digital worlds. Retrieved from http://discover.northwestern.edu/stories/blurring-lines-between-physical-and-digital-worlds