First of all I took notes on paper with textas to write down the bits that stood out to me most. The title of this post comes from my favourite part of the podcast where Puentedura talks about Vygotsky’s point that play creates a zone of proximal development for the child, allowing him/her to work in their ZPD without a knowledgeable other because in play a child always behaves beyond his or her average behaviour and abilities “as though he were a head taller than himself.” I just love that line, it creates a great image for me of a very proud and confident child who feels very successful. Play can create that for our students. Anyway, here are my written notes with a few lines of clarification underneath:
play is free movement within a more rigid structure
games are a more narrow form of play
games are defined by a system of rules where there is conflict and a quantifiable outcome
there are parallels between games and what our education system
I learnt the word ludic – which is an adjective meaning playful, deriving from the latin ‘ludus’ to play.
Puentedura has created an axis that helps analyse games based on abstraction, simulation and arbitrary or more real life goals.
the more real life the simulation and goals are the more narrative there is to the game which has implications for the choice of games for use in the classroom, depending on how much narrative you need
My question at this point is: “How and when should we decide that narrative is important to the learning experiences we want to create?”
At the end of the podcast we are asked to go to YouTube and find a video of a game and think of it in terms of the axis. I watched this:
and got thinking about what a game like this might help children to learn. How would a game like this ac as a ‘virtual more knowledgable other’ in order to assis the child to function in their zone of proximal development? So I searched for something about what skills videogames (which is what this podcast focuses on) teach and found this article:
which helped me to see that this Donkey Kong game would help children with skills such as:
visual information processing
So episode 1 has me thinking about how play can help children develop all sorts of skills, and how these can be focussed on in different games. I’m hoping that I can create playful learning experiences that engage and challenge kids enough so that they can fell a head taller than themselves. It’s something to aim for.
1 comment to Games Help Kids Become A Head Taller Than Themselves
I’ve been fascinated to read about your Black Line Mystery Project and now this! Thanks for the inspiration to make our classroom a more engaging, more playful place. What do you think about the ‘Inanimate Alice Project’?