Workshop 1: Gamification in education or the workplace to increase motivation and engagement
Scope: Gamification uses game elements and frameworks that consumers have been exposed to for years. Gamification has been successful in inspiring increased student motivation and engagement or for any learning participant and can extend to parental and community engagement. Gamification is not to be confused with game-based learning which requires schools or corporations to have large budgets and specialized staff to create video games. In fact, gamifying a training program can be done without technology. This workshop explores the elements of gamification and the transposition of these elements into a classroom or training setting. As the reality of schools change, in rural and urban locales, so must the classroom. The 21st Century is demanding a change in teaching and training. Harnessing the elements that drive relentless efforts to succeed in the virtual world can change the effects on students or employees and their learning experiences.
Objectives and Motivation:
- Explanation of gamification and what does it look like in a classroom setting.
- 21st Century approaches for the 21st Century student or employee.
- Discussion of 21st Century student needs, industry requirements of new employees, and preparation of students for the 21st Century workplace.
- Gaming elements and how they can be applied to teaching or training.
- Participants engage and experience gamified activities.
- Demonstration of gamified training in action.
Organiser: Theresa Papp, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada
Workshop 2: Mx : M= Mastering Math; X= Models, Mice, Monkeys, Moose… .
Scope: Having taught math for many years, I have seen the mathematics tests evolve from ones with only computation to ones with strong emphasis on problem-solving. The student still must be able to do the computation but now must have an excellent command of the language. Researching various state math questions for grades 3-5 I found very surprising information. On some tests I found as many 200 or more words which could confuse a student on any grade level. Of course not all words are unique in the test, but if a child does not know a word in question 2 and that same word appears in question 15, the child will not know it that question, either. No wonder the students with limited language skills have problems in the math section of the test. The word ’number’ will appear in many math questions. Did you realize the Thesaurus on my word processing program lists seven alternative words and the dictionary has ten definitions? We know that teaching terms via memorization is not best way. We also know the students must have higher level thinking skills. Students are quick to be turned off if the activities are not fun and if they (the students) are in the off position, it does not matter what the teacher does or say, the info does not met the student. In this workshop, it is my goal for us to connect language and math in fun ways to help every student master math. What do models, mice and monkeys have in common? You will have to come and see while we do activities to help students to switch to LEARN MODE from that off position.
Objectives and Motivation: Bring awareness to the vocabulary problems of today which our students face. Students are faced with major barriers every day when they attempt the achievement test or even daily and teacher made test.
Organiser: Barba Aldis Patton, University of Houston-Victoria, USA
Workshop 3: Making Teaching Real: Three Short Activities for Pre-Service Teachers
Scope: This workshop will provide teacher educators with three activities that may be valuable for their pre-service teachers in professional development programs. In the first activity, participants are put directly in elementary or secondary students’ shoes. By working in pairs and teaching and learning from each other through unfamiliar languages, participants will understand more viscerally the obstacles ELL students encounter in the classroom. The second activity aims to share ideas on how teachers in British Columbia are integrating subjects under the New Curriculum. Here participants are guided through one method that uses fairy tales or familiar stories as a framework to engage and energize students, and, in addition to Language Arts, also teach Math, Art, Science, Social Studies, Aboriginal Education and other subjects in a more holistic manner. Lastly, workshop participants will explore the value of learning through narrative by sharing their stories. This approach uses “narratives of success” which allows beginning teachers to reflect on their positive moments, mark their progress and present themselves to their colleagues as capable teachers. A video on how to write effective teaching narratives will be shared, as well as other materials.
Objectives and Motivation: The overall goal of these activities is to allow new teachers to experience abstract concepts more concretely before they face them in their future classrooms in practice. The majority of students who pursue a teaching certificate in teacher education programs are female, Caucasian, middle class and heterosexual. However, in Vancouver, BC, the number of households that use English as their first language is now outnumbered by those who speak another language at home. In fact, most classrooms in the Lower Mainland are multilingual, and ELL students comprise the majority of the class. For these reasons, new teachers must fully grasp the importance and complexity of inclusion, social justice and teacher autonomy. Also, the New Curriculum is new for all teachers, and providing examples of what integrated learning looks like will enable them to feel more on a par with experienced teachers. In the end, to better prepare our pre-service teachers, teacher educators must strive to create worthwhile experiences in the university classroom that stimulate new teachers’ imaginations, empathy and confidence within a safe environment among their peers, and do it as early as possible.
Organiser: Susan Barber, Simon Fraser University, Canada