Sunday, April 25, 2010
Week 8 Reflection EDUC 6715
In weeks 6 and 7 of this course, we were asked to develop a lesson plan using some of the technology we had been exploring in this course. I chose to use gaming to enhance my lesson plan for several reasons. First of all, I found the research on games in the classroom interesting. I have never been a proponent of games in class, because most of the educational games I had discovered seemed too childish for my junior high and high school students. Also, I had difficulty finding educational value in the majority of the games. Therefore, when presented with this assignment, I challenged myself to find a game that would enhance my instruction and be of value to my students. I felt the research in this course supported games and other digital learning in the classroom, as it gave students a sense of ownership over the work. It also allowed them to take acceptable risks and to learn on demand. Gaming will help support higher-level thinking when used in conjunction with content in the classroom. For this lesson, I chose to pair an online role-playing game with the reading of literature used in my room. After students completed the readings, which discussed oppression and the Holocaust, they were then using darfurisdying.com to role-play what oppression is like in other cultures. Students in my classroom have difficulty empathizing with the situation in Darfur, as they have relatively normal lives here. Using this website and online role-playing game supports the benefits of the technology in the classroom. It allows students to virtually experience a situation they cannot imagine on their own. It provides acceptable risk-taking and on-demand learning. It also gives them the opportunity to compare the role-playing to the literature they read and discuss their reactions. In short, using the game gives them an additional way to incorporate what they are learning. This assignment demonstrates that I understand the purpose of gaming in the classroom and am able to successfully incorporate it to my students' advantage.