Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Meeting Ewan

A short 6.5ish hour drive down the highway brought me to Moosejaw SK. earlier this week. Dean Shareski had arranged for Ewan Mcintosh to talk to his division and others on Monday Aug. 25. I along with my fellow blogger from Manitoba John Evans joined the day long presentation.

Before the presentation my wife and I went for a run around Moosejaw. It was the first day of school and we passed by this sign.

Its cryptic message made me take a picture. It was an enjoyable run and a good energizer before the days work with Ewan.

Most of my notes for the day were taken in twitter. For the key ideas and quotes of the day you will need this link or you can just search the tag mjaw08. More importantly you can check out the vast amount of links he provided us during the day at his delicious page. Warning there are so many excellent links here you could be busy for many hours..... or days!!

This is what Ewan presented. For those in my network that were unable to attend please watch this slidecast.

The afternoon was spent on the premise of gaming in schools. For many teens much of their life revolves around the video game. How is it possible to use these games in a pedagogical way Ewan showed many examples. The one that stood out for me was the use of the Nintendo DS in the classroom.

I guess I am intrigued due to my 3 boys love of their DS machines. If we could harness this love and make it an activity that promoted learning wow that would be the ticket. Ewan mentioned some games that have increased math skills in Scottish students. One of them is Brain Age. This game is full of puzzles and you get to unlock higher levels the further you go.

I do not think that I will ask my principal to buy DS's for the classroom since most students have them at home. I will however ask for money to buy a variety of games to stimulate brains during class or when students are done work. Think of students motivated to work in class so that they can play their DS which also is teaching them math. WIN WIN I think. Stay tuned for updates on this experiment.

This evening I purchased 3 games for my classroom Professor Layton and the Curious Village

and two of the Brain Age Games. I will allow the students to play them when time allows in class. If this is a popular choice I will purchase more games and see what happens. Kids learn best when the motivation is intrinsic. We cannot force them to learn they have to want to learn. I am sure that these games will start to give students reason to work hard in class and for some simple enjoyment and learning without them knowing all the math behind the game.

It was a great trip and I am ready to start the school year!

UPDATE John found this video. It helps explain the role of games in the class.


Dean Shareski said...

So grateful you made the trip. Truly valued your presence. Keep us posted on your game exploration.

Mr. H said...

Thanks for the comment Dean. I am excited to see how the games work out in the classroom. It should be fun

John Evans said...

Great post Chris! I came home and my 24 year old daughter showed me something her friend had loaned her for a bus ride to Edmonton with the 14- 16 year old boys lacrosse team she works with. It was a Nintendo DS! I've priced the unit out and the games too. What will my wife say if I bring one home! Ha! ;-) Like Dean I look forward to your future posts about this venture.