Discovering the potential of collaborative learning, game jamming is the new way to encourage children to discover, experiment and learn together.
Game Jamming isn’t new to India- more so when a trade associations of IT and BPO industry in India NASSCOM had already invested in a game development competition, partnering with MindBox calling it the Game Jam Titans. Game Jamming is a reality of our times. Statistics reveal that more than 90 percent of America’s youth play video games; and the same impetus was used at the White House to create a game jamming session to encourage children to learn constructively and is an extremely engaging method to learning.
The White House landed up hosting first-ever education game jam, that was a culminating event of an education games week developed with the U.S. Department of Education. Over the weekend, almost 100 game developers along with 35 teachers, learning researchers, and students had gathered at an education technology startup in Washington, D.C., and developed new and fun ways to learn.
The 48 hours of brainstorming led to development of prototypes of new videogames to help teach the most difficult school subjects identified by K-12 students and teachers. For many of the developers in attendance, working on learning tools was a new experience, and the challenge of making complex topics in history, English, math, civics, and science easier to understand was a welcome opportunity for creativity and innovation.
Welcome to the world of games which is the new way to get the future generations to learn and absorb knowledge.
Shares Matthew Farber, Assistant Professor of Technology, Innovation and Pedagogy says, “Game designing engages young people to be creative and innovative problem solvers. Many areas of expertise and interests are engaged; thus, students can identify their own strengths and bring them to a team. To create a digital game as a functioning and interactive system, groups need artists, coders, systems designers, and storytellers. Here, all modes of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) coalesce. And designing games also happens to be fun.”
How it Works
ARK Infosolutions is harnessing the use of the potential game development with STEAM based learning in schools. Mindbox under the aegis of ARK Infosolutions recently completed their 7-city Design Championship 2017 which got an overwhelming response of 2300 entries from 270 plus schools and 750 and more online project submissions.
This contest opened vistas to children to develop skills like Design Thinking, Logic Development, problem-solving and decision-making, Critical Thinking, Experiential Learning, artistic literacy and Cognitive Thinking which were evaluated by leading industry experts. To add to this gaming extravaganza was the fact that the winners of Game Design from each city got a chance to present their game at NASSCOM Game Developer Conference 2017.
No wonder, game jam has become a fun way to engage school and college students in constructive learning. But yes, for starters, you need good Internet connection and a lot of space to help young minds engage and collaborate.
Usually, in a game jamming session, jammers will gather to design a game based on a theme or topic. Participants have a set amount of time (an hour, an afternoon, a weekend) to work on a project using an iterative design process. Youths work in teams to solve a problem collaboratively.
The good part is that, game jams work well at all grade levels. Actually, games designed by students are a fun tool to demonstrate their learning on whichever topic they may choose; although younger students may require more teacher facilitation.