With the student population taking such a strong interest in games and gaming, teachers seem to be taking this interest and gamify their learning in order to engage and inspire their students. A recent example is a year seven Individuals and Societies unit on ancient civilisations.
Mr. Nathan Armstrong (a year seven learning support teacher and a board game enthusiast) made the students a bespoked board game to help them understand the factors that can impact a civilisation and help them flourishing. In the game, a class of students are broken up into tribes and assigned roles such as craftsman, farmer, hunter, merchant and so on. The students must collect resources (grain, meat, seeds, wood, tools, etc.) and use them in ways to help their civilisation thrive.
The students not only learn about the concepts of natural resources, the importance of a water supply and the different places ancient civilisations existed, but they also learned collaboration, leadership and problem solving skills which they can transfer to other aspects of their life and learning. Innovative experiences like this are just some ways the students at NIST have the opportunity to learn and grow, thanks to our outstanding educators.
In a recent Year 9 Individuals and Societies (Humanities) unit, students were given a fictional job and had to plan out a monthly budget for themselves. Each student had a different amount of income each month. Some jobs included fitness instructor, game designer, construction worker, janitor, etc. A full range of professionals and as you can imagine, some professions were not paid very well while others had a more generous income.
For the monthly budget, students had to decide on 10 wants and 10 needs. They had to research the prices of their wants and needs and budget accordingly. A part of this included primary research in the form of interviewing various adults to find out more about how they budget their lives.
Students created fictional social media accounts to document their life and the experiences they were a part of. This also allowed them to interact with other students that were also a part of the “Game Of Life”. Players were also able to provide loans and receive donations from each other.
During this unit, we each experienced a life changing event such as adopting an exotic pet (which costs more), a promotion (which provided extra income), an illnesses or injuries (which could be costly if the players didn’t take into consideration health insurance), etc. At the end of the unit the students were able to develop a better understanding of social economics, personal budgeting and personal responsibility through an innovative and engaging game based learning approach.