Now this is what I call fun!! We had the great priviledge to work alongside some really keen, energetic, enthusiastic and able colleagues, from schools across Leeds, setting off on a project based around creative use of Wii games.
Imagine that… getting to spend all day playing Wii games and pretending we were doing something professional, and educationally effective! 🙂
Well, actually, it was one of the most educationally exciting days I have ever enjoyed.
We spent the day at Calverley Parkside Primary, in Leeds, and spent most of our time exploring the possibilities that the game “Wild Earth African Safari” offers.
Twelve colleagues, from six schools, and then joined by a buzzing class of year sixes from Calverley.
We used Wallwisher to record our ideas, and thoughts, throughout the day.
One note nudged us towards the African Wildlife Foundation site for some background resources.
The day was filled with creative thought on different ways that games can be used to create engaging, powerful learning experiences.
We were joined, in the afternoon, by Nicola Stables, (@mynictle on Twitter) a teacher from Holmfirth Junior, Infant and Nursery School. Nicola shared some of her experiences of using African Safari with her Year 3 class.
Nicola was a professional musician (orchestral double-bass) and compared mastering the use of a Wii, to “learning a hard bass line”. Difficult but rewarding. She explained that the PHSE elements of the experience, such as co-operation team work, patience, sharing and problem solving, are big learning opportunities for children.
At first, children can almost “Bark” nstructions and demands at each other, with “Over there!” being one of the most commonly used descriptions of where to go. Nicola described how her class quickly worked out that shouting doesn’t work. Encouraging comments, and clear descriptions (e.g. North, South, to the left, in the direction of the baobab tree etc) became the order of the day for her explorers. Nicola showed some superb video of her children in action, and they have a right to be proud of their excellent communication, and of the quality of their recorded results.
Nicola writes a really useful blog of her own, Bits Bobs and Waffles. Read more there.
We will fill you in with more detail on the Leeds Wii Project, over the next few months.
It has been a pleasure to spend time with two very dynamic and enthusiastic people, who put learning, and the fun that can be had, first (oh, and …Thank You for all the sandwiches).
Category: 1) Events and Training days
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- Out of Africa! « My 7th year of teaching! | August 18, 2011