- March 6th, 2011
- Derek Robertson
- Comments: 5 Comments »Tags: educational games, game based learning, games based learning, Land of Me
In March 2010 representatives of LTS’ Consolarium team attended and participated in the Game Based Learning Conference in London. One of the conference presentations that we saw was from a company called Made in Me who were showcasing their as yet unreleased resource, Land of Me. The team found this resource to be instantly intriguing and it’s design, both aesthetic and pedagogic, was such that we approached the company to express and interest in trying the software out in Early Years settings in Scottish schools. Have a look at one of the chapters here:
One of the aspects of this resource that proved most appealing to us was that the designers had worked with Prof. John Siraj-Blatchford who has a long and illustrious record in academic publication and is seen, along with his wife Professor Iram Siraj-Batchford, as expert in the pedagogy of teaching and learning in the Early Years. The partnership between Dr. Blatchford and Land of Me led to a the design of a resource that aimed to immerse young learners in a beautiful and engaging world but in such a way that opportunities for deep learning and active participation could occur within the game but just as importantly, away from the game. This concept is what most interested us about this particular resource as we felt that it most certainly would help address the underlying principles of CfE and offer exciting and purposeful avenues for learning at Early Level and possibly beyond that.
The LTS/Land of Me Pilot
Once the Land of Me was fully completed and ready to be launched to schools LTS negotiated a pilot programme to take place in Dundee City, Argyll & Bute and West Lothian Councils. This pilot is currently in its early stages with schools in Dundee and West Lothian already making great use of the resource with the Argyll & Bute schools due to come on board at the end of March.
As yet we have no firm data in terms of qualitative feedback from out partner schools other than a general feeling of delight and positivity in relation to how young learners are responding to this resource and the learning activities that can arise as a result of playing in and outwith the game.
This was evident in a recent feedback session in Dundee City from the teachers and Early Years Practitioners who working with us on the pilot. Their early feedback was very positive with some insightful observations about its use being fed back. Most of the feedback that was of the ‘wish’ variety focused on the activities that could be downloaded from the resource itself. Even so, the general feeling was that this resource has great potential with Chapter 4: Rythmn & Dance, where the learners/players have the opportunity to dance along with a family of Otters, appearing to be a particular favourite for the children in the Dundee schools! Can you do the crab, flamingo, tiger dance?
I took the opportunity at the event to speak to Maggie Llanwarne who is the Headteacher at Longhaugh Nursery School about her thoughts on the resource. Maggie was very impressed with the resource however her experienced eye also offered some formative fedback in terms of its design and how it can be used. Here is what Maggie had to say:
I also spoke with Bernadette Donald from Wallacetown Nursery School. Again her feedback was very positive but some formative ‘wishes’ were also suggested by this experienced practitioner in terms of the tasks/activities that can be downloaded as a part of the overall Land of Me experience: Here is what Bernadette had to say:
Some of the schools talked of how they were still exploring the resource whereas others talked of how having explored the resource, they were now beginning to embed Land of Me in to the daily life and learning of their children. We look forward to sharing the further experiences and thoughts of teachers and EYPs in Dundee and those of the teachers and EYPs in West Lothian and Argyll & Bute. If you are using this resource in your school please do tell us what your experience has been.
*There is a Land of Me Glow Group to support this initiative and any other teachers who might be using this resource in their particular setting. Please do feel free to contribute to this group.