“Hi. My name is Michele Ispano and I just joined the Italian GREAT Team. I was born in 1983, thus I'm part of the first generation who has grown also with videogames and technologies. This has not been easy as my parents, like many others, have always looked at videogames as a pure entertainment: they couldn't even conceive of these games as a way for increasing a large number of skills and competences in many different fields (for example logic, management, decision-making, accountancy) or even sharpen creativity and problem solving.
Last but not least, the web revolution opened the doors to networking and web-based games, so that it became possible to increase also relational skills through the interaction with other players. It is also through these experiences that I understood what it means working in a team, collaborating and competing – and the reasons that led to win or loose a game. We are eventually starting to understand that we can learn a lot from videogames. However, to be honest, we have to admit also two crucial things: a) not all games are helpful (for example soccer simulators); b) all strategy and problem solving games have a big limit: we’re free to move and make our plans, but always and only into a set of well-defined rules, conditions and schemes previously established by the creator/developer. However the real world has no limits, except the ones imposed by law (and ethics), so we must be aware of the fact that – in example - games which stimulate reasoning might discourage lateral thinking at the same time.”
I am Chiara, member of the GREAT Team right from the start, and I am no digital native: I first put my hands on a computer when I started working back in 1985… but thanks to the discussions and exchanges with had in GREAT since we started, I am maybe more extreme than Michele in my opinions: even soccer games can teach us something (i.g. when you have to run a team, buy players & coach within a given budget, etc.) and help us develop competences needed for our professional life. And the fact that in the virtual world we play under strict rules set by its developers makes it even nearer to our real environment: the virtual world is surely simpler then the real one, but in real life we do act within a set of given rules we cannot break – sometime that we do not even clearly know, and we have to discover how to break or bypass them, as with hidden commands in role-playing games.
But on the key point I completely agree with Michele: “This leads us to the main point: videogames can be very helpful in supporting teaching-learning processes, but we have to know both opportunities and limits: in other words, we have to know what we’re doing.”
Be a GREAT Learner!
Chiara Martinelli & Michele Ispano (AIF)
The Dissemination Seminar within the Lifelong Learning Week The Lifelong Learning Week, organized by EUCIS - LLL, gathered several specialists from the learning sector to talk about the developments taken by the European Comission in accordance to the EU 2020 strategy.
The European Comission presented the “Rethink Education” strategy for member states that enphasizes the importance of Basic Skills and Entrepreneurship to the development and as a mobility factor.
How do Games fit in the EU strategy and within Learning? Growing into an intensively digital world, education and training must follow the path of the learners to assure better results not only in terms of satisfaction but also the transfer of knowledge.
The trainers must prepare themselves to this new reality and also acquire new skills and new ways to work on the learners development.
Project GREAT Dissemination Seminar @ LLL Week The seminar took place on the 27th of November at eleven o’clock in front of an audience of 13 people and comprised of 3 different parts:
- ETDF Presentation
- Introduction to Project GREAT
- Expert (Maja Pivec) Presentation
The key word from the attendance was curiosity about the applicability of games in the learning process with several different background within the audience ranging from parents, to students, to town project leaders and others.
Dispite the particular interest in the gaming area, the seminar served to show that Project GREAT is not about Game Development but it focuses on the creation of a GBL Methodology for teachers and trainers based on commercial games (ex. Sim City Social, My Village).
The participation of Maja Pivec from FH Joanneum was very clarifying as it mapped the several steps taken in the previous project (www.engagelearning.eu) and how Project GREAT continued her previous work mainly developed for schools and widened the scope to the training community.
As in most of Great’s Dissemination seminars the ambition from the attendance is strong as people want to see the output of games apllied to learning and we at GREAT keep reminding that there is a path to reach that goal and we are walking it.
Be a GREAT Learner!
Miguel Luís (APG - GREAT)