Presented by: Niamh Parkinson
With the face of technology rapidly changing, more and more of us are being exposed to the world of gaming. Those of us with children in the house will know how hard it can be to pull your son or daughter away from their Xbox, wii, Nintendo DS or Playstation. But it’s not just the children: most of us with smart phones or iPads etc, although we may not like to admit it, will have downloaded and played games that can be hard to put down. Good games draw us in and keep us working hard to learn certain skills, overcome obstacles and complete challenges. What is more, when we work hard to complete a particular challenge what is our reward?: More hard (and more difficult!) work to complete the next level! Imagine a learning environment where your students are eager to complete certain challenges, learn new skills and when they do, they are happy to be give even more, harder, work! By looking at the psychology of games and how games are designed and engineered, perhaps we can gain some insight into what motivates gamers to work so hard at gaming. Maybe we can apply some of these findings to our teaching methods in order to enhance student motivation? There is plenty of research to turn to… If we can get it right then it’s; GAME ON!
Niamh is a teacher of Science and Biology. Working with PDST & NCTE delivering talks on ICT in the classroom and using iPads in the classroom. Currently working at developing an educational app based on the Irish curriculum. Keen interest in the gamification of education and how we can apply certain aspects of games, such as the fine balance between challenge, feedback and rewards, to how we teach, in an effort to motivate students and sustain their interest in the subject matter.