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Endless Ocean

posted 7 Dec 2010, 11:01 by Charlie Barrow
I've been waiting for the opportunity to embrace games-based learning since following the work of Consolarium at LTS. So, when I found out that my placement school was in the middle of an Ocean related theme I took the opportunity to add this element of ICT. I am fully aware that this is nothing new and that many schools have used Endless Ocean in teaching and learning. However, for anyone thinking of using this in the classroom, here's an evaluation of my experience.

Social Subjects:
The fictional island in Endless Ocean is set in the South Pacific. The diving takes place around some fantastic looking coral reefs. We did some great work looking at where the South Pacific is and comparing S.Pacific islands with N.E. Scotland. Children explored marine related jobs, tourism and marine life.

Children revisited note-taking strategies and used these while playing the game. They then used the game as a stimulus to write a diary entry from the point of view of the main character. The finished diary entries are in the process of being uploaded to GLOW blogs.

It was just a wonderful coincidence that my maths group had just begun working on compass points, and bearings when we started this projects and so the need to follow a compass and refer to a map for navigation fitted in really well.

In conclusion, it proved to be a real motivation boost for the children who all loved it. Many had used Wiis before but a couple took a while to develop the coordination skills needed with such a different user-interface. There were so many opportunities for learning through cross-curricular work, discussion and social skills. However, I think to get the most out of this, it really needs to be central to the theme. There are so many opportunities that it cannot be extra to the day's planning, as it was during my placement.

I'll definitely look to use this, or similar as a stimulus in the future. There are lots of helpful examples of things done with this on the GLOW Endless Ocean group and it is definitely worth checking out my previous blog post from the Gavinburn Primary School at the Scottish Learning Festival.