Our final class focus was on games and their role in the classroom. I think it was a common and recurring theme that everyone had some experience with the preceding, but mixed feelings in that they weren’t alway sure if it was the best approach in terms of actually “teaching” content. In addition, competitiveness was a concern, detracting from the actual intention and goal, as well as how measurable learning really is in such a format. To explain, some games might be memorization based, and thus students could simply click on various icons trying to receive the right answer, and not actually retaining the “why” behind it. I have some personal experience with this, as I was a nanny over the summer, and one of the young, grade one-aged boy that I was looking after could not read yet and thus had not idea what was taking place in the math game Prodigy. Instead, he just wanted to “win,” defeating the actual educational purpose. However, I do realize that games are a great motivational tool and thus would consider using them as a sort of incentive to have at the end of unit. In fact, in my break-out room session, we discussed Kahoot as a classroom favourite, as well as All the Right Type.
I wanted to make a final note of how I truly enjoyed becoming familiar with the various technology-based resources touched on in this course, that I will continue to make use of in the future. In addition, the aspect of inquiry for many projects (ED-Tech, free, etc.) and creating a blog expanded my knowledge of what authentic learning can look like; it is so much more experiential and relational that I thought before. Thank you Michael for your patience and time spent guiding us through our first semester of the Elementary Education program!