Gaston Elementary Educators Visit GLS
A main goal of the ls for game-based learning initiatives. Support ranges from providing ideas for classroom activities to leading professional development workshops; however the consistent focus is on giving teachers the skills and expertise to use games in an engaging and effective manner. Recently, the GLS Center has partnered with the School District of Beloit to create a Science, Technology, Reading, Arts, Engineering and Math (STREAM) block for all K-3 students with the ultimate goal of increasing students’ reading levels while exposing them to a playful, creative STEM curriculum. As part of the creation of this new STREAM block, Gaston Elementary principal Kevin Kitslaar and five educators from the school visited the GLS Center for a morning of professional development on the use of games in the classroom. Games+Learning+Society Center (GLS) is to provide educators with support and too
During the visit, the educators from Beloit were introduced to the suite of STEM games created at the GLS Center and, as a group, discussed the ways in which engaging curricula could be developed to support acquisition of the core STEM concepts in each. The introduction to games included coplay sessions with EcoNauts, the ecological multiplayer strategy game, and Citizen Science, the lake ecology adventure game.
After discussing the use of learning within games, the focus of the session shifted to creating games, and strategies for making students active producers of technology, rather than consumers. Several programming environments were introduced, concluding with co-design in Kodu, Microsoft’s 3D game design environment, to explore how the GLS Center’s game design curriculum, Studio K, promotes active, peer supported creation.
Moving forward, staff from both GLS and Gaston Elementary School are excite
d to see the ways in which the STREAM curriculum will engage, motivate, and inspire students starting in fall 2014.
For more information on GLS hosted professional development, GLS Center STEM games, or facilitator support tools, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.