This week’s essential question was at first very challenging for me t respond. It asked, “what does the way you play have to do with embracing change and does this impact you as a professional?” After playing with the idea some I discovered I had numerous responses to the question.
My first thought was what is “play” in education? Lately, play doesn’t seem like a word that fits with education. However, I went back to some methods I was taught in a more recent course and it was the power of play. Just recently, today to be exact, I followed the recommendations I learned in the course I took recently and allowed students a 15 minute time period to explore the manipulatives used for fractions. It was so nice to see students with smiles on their faces. But this idea of play does not tremendously impact me as a teacher embracing change.
My idea of including play to embrace change education in regards to this class is learning how to incorporate games into my education system. According to Jeanne Hayes (2013) in her article Learning Through Gaming: What the Research Shows , “gaming and collaboration impact student achievement.” She further supports her claim with data from an SRI report that claimed, “”When digital games were compared to other instruction conditions without digital games, there was a moderate to strong effect in favor of digital games in terms of broad cognitive competencies.” These findings make me more than ever to add this type of play into my curriculum. I can be willing to play or sit back and watch others progress around you.
Or does it? In the past few years there have been numerous changes with education all of which, in my opinion, have taken a lot of the fun out of education. Nonetheless, I see a need to try and ensure that all students are achieving. I have seen a huge shift in data collection and analysis. Although this is a lot of work, I love this because it requires teachers to be accountable for all students by requiring each student succeeds. So yes it is less fun, but I am willing to give it a shot in hopes that I can help all students achieve.
And the way I play also determines how happy I am as an individual. If I learn to embrace changes that are inevitable, I can hopefully have a happier and healthy life. I know that change is hard, but it is happening. I can go with the flow or try to play against the teaching game. I have to be a player ready for change and take an innovative approach. If I sit back stagnant, I am only making the technology challenge even harder. I think it is easy to play the game them sit out on the sidelines getting rusty. Robert Ramono (2011) points out why we must be a player in the educational changes in his statements, “It’s true, no matter what we do, our kids will leave us behind — it’s the natural way. But we must provide them with the knowledge they need to improve the world. Our generation is the one developing all the new tools that offer limitless access to knowledge.” He was right on the money with this statement as this is how I feel.
Sometimes you have to just roll with the punches. I know that if I weren’t flexible I would have failed long time ago. There are always changes in the game of teaching. For instance, just today I found out I am getting a student—not the normal circumstance. However, because of technology I can individualize much easier. What do you know I am learning to play the game and becoming a pretty good player while I am at it or at least better than sitting the sidelines.
Hayes, J. (2010, December 13). Education Channel Partner. ECP. Retrieved February 28, 2014, from http://edchannelpartner.com/articles/2013/12/10/learning-through-gaming-what-the-research-shows.aspx
Ramano, R. (2011, November 9). Mashable. Mashable. Retrieved February 28, 2014, from http://mashable.com/2011/11/09/education-social-tech/
Thomas, D., Brown, J. (2011). A new culture of learning. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform