Week 7 – Digital Blurring

SploderGIF

Angry Birds Sploder (Colville, 2014)

We explored digital blurring and how the activities we engage in online may spillover between our personal and professional lives.  We also looked at gaming and were tasked with creating an online game using Sploder.

Not being a gamer, I struggled to see how the skills students used playing online games at home could be beneficial in the classroom.  The creation of my Sploder, with the assistance of my children, quickly opened my mind to the potential of gaming in the classroom!

Sploder is the perfect starter program to use in the classroom.  Firstly, students do not need programming skills.  Secondly, it engages young students in using storytelling and problem solving skills to create and develop their games.  Students could also analyse and self-evaluate their completed games before turning to evaluate the games created by their peers.

Sploder’s mission statement (www.sploder.com/about.php) declares that game design uses the whole brain, from the artistic side to the analytic.  They believe that the world can be changed by creative people who use their mind to make the world better.  No doubt a clever marketing spin but it certainly supports what the inspirational Jane McGonigal says about gaming.

 Further information on Digital Blurring can be found @
the ABC and Oakleigh Consulting

Week 6 – Digital Fluency

We explored digital fluency this week, and the skills needed to participate in the digital world.  What does digital fluency mean? What skills do I and my students need to become confident users of digital technologies?

scratch

Scratch (Colville, 2014)

Despite considering myself to be digitally fluent, I found creating a Scratch animation challenging. The code writing was a source of frustration. Perseverance resulted in a “light bulb” moment that enabled me to see the potential of integrating Scratch in the classroom.

Scratch could be easily used by students who have already had exposure to gaming through simpler programs such as Sploder. The intricacies of Scratch provide a rich learning experience for students to become confident users of digital technologies.  Students can engage in critical thinking and use problem solving skills to create games. They could work in groups, using and improving their collaborative and communication skills, to develop story lines for their games. Integrating programs such as Scratch in the classroom enables students to be creative whilst developing the critical thinking skills required for life outside the classroom.

I am loving discovering new elements of the digital world and working out how they can be used in the classroom!

 Further information on Digital Fluency can be found @
ACER and The Guardian