Monday, July 26, 2010

GK Supports Teachers to Incorporate Serious Games in Education

Developing and testing a gaming curriculum


Via: Global Kids' Online Leadership Program

Six New York City high school teachers, coordinated by the National Writing Project, sought assistance from Global Kids to bring their own designs for Serious Games into their classrooms.

The teachers have worked with Barry Joseph, Rafi Santo and other consultants from Global Kids this spring to develop and test a gaming curriculum. They created and documented a curriculum that has modules that can fit into different types of classes, including four core subject areas: * Computer Arts * English * Technology and * Art.

Paul Allison, technology liaison at the New York City Writing Project, who coordinated the demo project, says “We created a pilot curriculum and brought it to our classes two times a week this spring. Our study group met with Barry Joseph and his colleagues at Global Kids in Manhattan to learn more about gaming on March 24, April 22 and May 5.”

“At our first session, Barry Joseph and Rafi Santo presented an overview of gaming in the classroom, providing us with some context for our work together. They provided a detailed, tried and true Serious Games Resource List that we used to develop curriculum between sessions.”

"The second session was about building our own skills as game designers. Barry and Rafi gave us a Presentation on Game Design and Serious Games. Because most of us felt that we could learn more about Serious Games on our own, more time was spent on a Game Design Curriculum. This included activities for both offline (Grow-a-Game, Found Object Game Design) and online game design. For the online work we learned how to use Gamestar Mechanic in the classroom, basing our work on Global Kids Playing 4 Keeps curriculum (Games, Play and Emergence and Goals, Obstacles and Chance). There were many other resources, including these games that we played in Gamestar.”

“At the third session, we wrote reflections on our work together. Each of us also presented the work that we had done with our students in this pilot program this spring. Students played issues-based games in class, and they analyzed games to uncover the values and core meanings in them. Students also modified board games and digital games, and are beginning to design their own games around social issues.”

“At the same time, we built the rationales and the theoretical framework for including a curriculum like this into core classes in grades 6 -12.We are planning how we might involve other New York City Writing Project teachers in this work this fall. We are taking our classroom experiences and designing day-long workshops and regular study groups like our Tech Thursday group in the Fall 2010 and Spring 2011.”

Paul Allison delivered a brief presentation of this work at the Games for Change Conference in May, and shall hold a workshop at the National Writing Project’s Annual Meeting in November.