Saturday, 19 July 2014

Always With The Excuses - and why video games are a great resource!

Insert any excuse that you'd like me to have right here for not updating for ages.

I can honestly say that this last term was crazy. I don't want to make this into a blog about teaching because, as much as I love teaching, I want to have this outlet that is something more than teaching. I hope that makes sense because sometimes words get super excited in my head and they get jumbled. Anyway, that is neither here nor there.

But, at the recent Myth & Magic NZATE Conference (New Zealand Association For/Of Teachers of English) I actually presented a workshop on using video games in the classroom. Basically, I spent an hour talking about BioShock, The Last of Us, Portal, Mass Effect and so on. And, more excitedly, there were actual people who were in there to listen to me. Actual teachers and fellow game nerds. As well as people who were just curious. (I kept telling myself "baby steps" because there is still a stigma surrounding video games.)

My PPT  This is the Keynote that I had with it. It lost some of the formatting when I had to move it into the google drive shared folder but hopefully it gives you a view of what I talked about.

So, I spoke about my passion for video games and not just the idea of playing the games but the richness of the worlds that are being created and how we can reach some students through this new medium. I explained that by watching cut scenes from games you can delve into creative writing, film techniques, computer science, social media, social commentary, gender studies and much more.

I hope that people took away some positive ideas from my presentation and I left my email address on there incase they wanted to contact me regarding my thoughts.

Anyway, I have time on my hands again and I want to get back into my weekend round ups. (Baby steps).

I also have to admit that I learned a lot about my ability to handle stress during the conference. I normally run on a high amount of stress and sugar and a butt load of coffee. But during the conference I pushed myself too far and, hopefully, I have learned from this mistake and will endeavour to take more time out for myself.

Enough of that though - I have a couple of questions:

1. What game do you think is worthy of study in a high school class?
2. Would you have liked to learn about video games in school?
3. What would you like to see in my blog?

I will leave you with this lovely ditty from the ever awesome Weird Al. I hate the original with a passion but I can handle (just) this parody. Might even use it in my class...

Peace and pancakes,

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