We have been really looking forward to our chance to work with the staff and children from Oakdale Junior School, in the London Borough of Redbridge. And, what a sparky bunch. Smiles, laughter and all up for a challenge.
Oakdale have become well known for their games based learning, especially Nintendo handheld gaming consoles. Futurelab’s article on them HERE shows the real joy they are creating across the whole school.
The lesson with Year 5′s and 6′s, exploring the virtual landscapes and so much more…
We were invited to the school by Dawn Hallybone, herself no stranger to presenting her ideas on the use of games in school: Dawn was a speaker at Games Based Learning 09 . We wrote about our first meeting HERE. You can see Dawn’s presentation online HERE
As Dawn Hallybone says, “The children are engaged and enthusiastic users of the consoles and we are merely harnessing this enthusiasm to promote the curriculum. It is not necessarily about the game or the console – as Derek Robertson is fond of saying, ‘Good teachers use good tools’. We see the console as another tool to aid our teaching.”
“It’s the only time we are quiet,” quips Kianna, aged 11. And there is no dissent from Dawn Hallybone, her teacher at Oakdale Junior School. In fact the silence in the Year 6 maths lesson is remarkable as the pupils immerse themselves in the mental maths exercises generated as quickly as they can handle them by Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training software on their Nintendo handheld gaming consoles.
The messages from Oakdale Junior classrooms – and the others now adopting handhelds for learning (many inspired by the work of Derek Robertson and his collaborators at Learning and Teaching Scotland’s Consolarium) – are pretty clear:
- handheld gaming consoles can be powerful, everyday tools for learning and teaching
- they are easy to use and engaging for both children and adults
- they are much easier to manage than most other forms of ICT in schools
- they encourage children to use their devices for learning at home.
Category: 1) Events and Training days