4 Replies Latest reply: Nov 8, 2011 12:30 PM by sjcaban RSS

How do you deal with the Middle School interest in gaming?

kallen Novice
Currently Being Moderated

We recently hosted a Technology Summit for area schools and invited our participants to submit questions that we didn't address during the day. This was one very interesting question.


I’m not sure we’re at the perfect solution yet, but we do a few things:

  • Learn what they use and why they use it so our advice is relevant and to help us identify the types of educational interactive that are likely to be the most appealing:
    • We have periods of times where we take down our firewall. We can then see what sites our students are accessing to help us stay aware of what they’re using. All our students have a unique log-in so if they access anything inappropriate we can talk to them about it.
    • I host times (often afterschool or during recess) where the students can come to one room (21 CLC) and use whatever device they own or our SMARTboards or laptops and play games. I then go around and talk to all the students about the games they’re playing, why they choose them, what they like about them, etc. This often leads to dialogue between the students as well as hey debate different factors based on interest, which can be very enlightening. During these times I do have a few restrictions about degree of violence, appropriateness, etc.
    • Help them build their own awareness and literacy:
      • I run an activity period that covers Social Networking, Web 2.0 tools, Interactive Games and Virtual Worlds. The kids that are most interested in these technologies are the ones that sign up. During this time we analyze, create and look at the positive and negative impacts of each of these tools. The kids love it, some have started to beg to be a part of it and I am seeing a difference in the choices and self-awareness of the kids that are in it.
      • I’m starting a student-run blog intended as a resource where kids can give each other advice about safe practices and responsible choices with Internet safety, social networking and gaming. There is a student committee that will help direct the focus of the blog, do the “marketing” within the school, and make the design. Any student can comment on the blog (which I’ll moderate for now) and any student can submit a post via Goggle forms which I’ll review before posting.
      • We have an Advisory program in the Middle School and one of the main pieces of discussion, especially for 6th grade, is making responsible choices. This is not all about gaming, but that comes up within that.
    • Prevent access during classes:
      • We do have a firewall that we constantly update to block games and as of now students are only allowed to use their personal devices in set, structured activities


I'd love to hear what other people are doing!

  • How do you deal with the Middle School interest in gaming?
    Anthony_EDTech New User
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hey katrina


    I think that a lot of schools/teachers look at social networking as a bad thing or something that can not be used for learning.  The reality is that kids even in 3rd grade (I hear) have facebook accounts.  I think that by not educating them on the dangers and best practices is the same thing as not teaching them how to add and subtract.  I love the idea of having a student ran blog.  I was wondering how you keep the students identities safe (do they use aliases) and is this blog open to everyone?


    This site http://learninglab.org/ does a really good job with introducing life skills like cyber bullying, self esteem, online safety, etc,  taught by the one and only Garfield.  I feel a new topic for this website to explore should be social networking. 


    The newest trend I see happening in the cyber social world and causing the most harm to not only kids but adults is the checking in feature.  What this is, is people posting where they are, where they are going, who they are with etc.  This check in feature does is by GPS / satellite  location and knows where you are and can update your status with one simple tap of the button.  The harm this could cause to anyone is kind of scary.


    Students need to be taught about these issues at an early age and should be reinforced and taught how to safely use social networking sites.  Social networking sites are becoming the way of communication, news acquisition, advice, shopping, and dating.   My approach to teaching students about these would be to utilize these social networking tools.  I would use twitter to pose questions to encourage micro blogging and meaningful brief discussion. I think if you can get your principal to tweet to his students it will definitely bring his cool factor up with the them and also keep him connected with the students.  I think by properly training, modeling, and educating students about social medias, that are not going to be going away, should be the way every school faces these changes.  Blocking and banning them just will not do and just further push the two away from each other.


    I could probably keep going on and on about this issue

  • Re: How do you deal with the Middle School interest in gaming?
    Kingston Apprentice
    Currently Being Moderated

    Why not challenge your students to join the National STEM video Challenge.................check it out http://www.stemchallenge.org/



  • Re: How do you deal with the Middle School interest in gaming?
    sjcaban New User
    Currently Being Moderated

    I love the idea of the "free gaming" period in 21 CLC. I'd be interested to hear more about which games are most popular with your students, and if you notice any major trends in the different types of games preferred by different types of students (e.g. boys vs. girls, 10-12 yr-olds vs. 12-14 yr.-olds).

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