Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Game2Design: Directions in 2011

Wow, I can't believe so much time has passed since our last post. I thought we should fill you in on our direction in 2011. My team and I have been madly designing our new project, 'Game2Design: play, analyse, build' where our aim is to move students from playing to building – transforming students from consumers to creators of digital content. We believe that the process of understanding and applying the principles of good game design to student created games not only improves literacy, collaboration and higher-order thinking skills, but can lay the foundations for deep learning, innovation and change in 21st century classroom

We are continuing to deliver our Game2Design project using Kahootz and are excited to have on board both Primary and High schools. We are particularly excited to have a High School from remote NSW join us on this project. All training and support will be delivered via video conferencing facilities to our remote schools.

We are almost ready to pilot our Game2Design using Kodu project. As part of this, we have been building and extensive library of short videos explaining various aspects of using Kodu to design games. We have also been working on the framework for a metagame which we intend to use to teach good game design and Kodu. This project will be very student directed, aiming to build confidence in teachers and relieving them of the stress associated in teaching something that is often very foreign to them. Anthony, Simon and I are very excited about this project, and it has absorbed a lot of our time this year. We expect this project to evolve through repeated iterations.

We have also designed a new 'Good Game Design' workshop which will seek to evaluate innovative applications of game design principles in teaching and learning. The focus is on teachers employing a constructivist approach that promotes inquiry learning to achieve curriculum outcomes across most key learning areas and addresses dimensions from the quality teaching framework. This workshop will give teachers a fundamental understanding of design principles and how these can be applied when teaching students to build games. Teachers can apply these new understandings to any game creation software. We hope to run our first game design workshop later this term.

What else is the Game Design team up to this year?

This year, Anthony has returned to Uni (while still working 2 days/week at MacICT) to train as a Primary School teacher and complete his Bachelor of Education. With the experience he has gained from working at the Centre last year, he should do very well!

Simon still works one day/week at the centre, and this year has a composite Year 5/6 class at Gordon East Public School. He is as enthusiastic as ever and committed to introducing teachers to engaging their students as game designers.

I am still working two days/week at MacICT and, for the remainder of the week, I am ICT RFF teacher at Cromer Public School. This term my Year 6 students are designing LAMS sequences around government and democracy. Year 5 are designing web pages that address real world issues and persuading readers to adopt their solutions to these authentic problems. Year 4 are designing digital stories to share with their buddies in Japan and Year 3 are learning to use Web 2.0 tools and Edmodo. All students are using Edmodo to post reflections on their learning. Next term, Simon and I will involve all our students in designing games.

In two weeks I will be travelling to Thailand to attend Microsoft's 7th Asia Pacific Regional Innovative Education Forum as the New South Wales Innovative teacher representative. I am really looking forward to the challenges the forum will bring and global connections I will make during this time.

We will be blogging about our Game2Design project on MacICT's new blog: We hope to see you there.



  1. It only goes to show that when teachers are absolutely passionate about teaching and learning that amazing things can be happen. Congratulations and best wishes with the Microsoft 7th Asia Pacific Innovative Education forum. You will shine! KL

  2. Cathie,

    I really, really want my Extension Year 9 students to participate in this experience!! How do I make it happen? Your projects sound perfect for my inquiry/PBL approach to T%L this year! Oh - and are we going to run with my Good Game Spawn Point project I toyed with on my blog at the end of last year?
    Love your work - inspiring!!

  3. Hi Bianca,
    Thanks for your comment, really appreciate it. We'd love to have you involved with our project and would definitely be keen to talk with you about your Good Game Spawn Point project.