One of the questions we aimed at answering during the project was :
What are the factors that underline a successful model for adopting digital games in mainstream and SEN classes?
Through our visits in both countries we concluded that the school ethos needs to be one of trust and freedom that encourages teachers to be reflective practitioners as well as researchers in their classrooms. After careful planning of the lessons and allowing for time to play they gained insights into what the children could do.
From Tom’s reflective blog:
”Teamwork : I believe that our school core value will definitely shine through during this project. Pupils who are able to access the work and find it easier than others will feel good helping others, who may be struggling accessing the work.”
And it did. The results in those classes were particularly significant given the level of students and their difficulties in assimilating academic work as well as simply attending to a task long enough to produce an outcome.
Stepping back and observing children play and collaborate with each other was one of the ways they achieved that. They allowed for surprises.
Through trust and freedom, and time for reflection teachers are more willing to experiment with innovative ICTs and take risks without the fear of an expected outcome from senior management teams.
The school leaders in the participating schools had achieved this through building trusting relationships among staff and between staff and leadership teams and giving them time to experiment with technology.
There was a shared vision and understanding amongst the staff and school leaders about the importance of ICT and games and how they fitted in the curriculum. (Stony Dean school).
The process of experimenting over time and working with their peers led to increase in confidence amongst teachers not only in their own skills but ultimately to improve their self-belief to use games to bring about positive learning outcomes. (Lexby school).
This mind-set amongst the teachers was what prompted them and their schools to be part of the project, to be given the chance to take risks, to learn from one another and to innovate.