I started using the Xbox with my YR10s to explore Newton’s Laws of Motion. Students are working in groups of 3 or 4 and are filming their gameplay on Formula 1 2010 with the webcams on their laptops. Two lessons of Xbox later, 5 groups have filmed their gameplay with 2 groups left to go. After they film their gameplay, they will import the film into Adobe Premier Elements and annotate the film to use Newton’s laws to explain the race car’s motion.
This got me thinking about time. Whether I’ve got the time to do such a project. In previous years, I would just teach Newton’s 3 laws with a prac or two assocaited with each law. This would’ve taken 3-5 lessons. However, with the Xbox involved, it will now take me almost double the amount of lessons. While I know using the Xbox activity will allow students to use higher-order thinking skills of analysing, evaluating and creating, I also feel the pressure to “get through the content” to prepare the Yr10s for the School Certificate Exam. Time taken away from “content” or exam preparation is often sited by teachers as a reason not to integrate multimedia technology in their lessons (Complexities and challenges of integrating technology into the curriculum)
In an age where there seems to be an increasing emphasis on high stakes testing (eg. NAPLAN and MySchool), are high-stakes testing really the best strategy to use to ensure that all our students are prepared to partcipate in a 21st century digital society? There are so many YouTube videos out there telling teachers and the community that education needs to change because technology is evolving so fast. We need to develop our students’ critical thinking skills and the ability to adapt to change. I want to do this. I want my classroom to be a place where students use technology to develop these skills. But at the same time I worry whether that’s taking time away from NAPLAN, School Certificate and HSC preparation. Maybe it’s time we need to rethink how we assess our students.
Thanks for the inspiring posts and tweets, Alice. Love the gaming angle, your classes sound like they are fun and challenging. It would be sad to lose the learning opportunities you are giving your students. There is so much talk about reform – imagine if we could just buy some time.
Time is an issue with all our lessons but I shall continue to use the xbox and the wii as the pupils are starting to remember lesson content now.