Building Student Confidence Through GamesOn August 11, 2019 by Raul Dinwiddie
Hi I’m Tammy Schrader I have a teaching certificate. I teach life science to 7th graders I teach STEM, and CTE, and some programming and some gaming classes and have been using video games in the classroom for the past eight years. I recently left my job to go work at an educational service district and now I’m the regional science coordinator. [male speaking] And I’m Antero Garcia I’m the Assistant Professor at Colorado State University and a Teaching Ambassador Fellow for the year. Um, Hey Tammy! [woman responding] Hey Antero! you were going to say something about Carson, is that a thing? [Tammy speaking] Yeah. One of my favorite stories and I have many about gaming in classrooms, but Carson was a child who came to us and he walked into a 7th grade classroom, these are special needs kids, behaviorally more than anything, so my favorite part about Carson is that when Carson came to me he cannot do group work. And when I say cannot, he cannot. You can’t even give Carson colored pencils. Because within minutes he’s stabbing the kid next to him or throwing them across the classroom. And Carson has had a really, really difficult life. There are reasons that Carson struggles. And one of my favorite experiences was the first-year I had tried gaming, because I’m not a gamer (I shouldn’t say that on camera), I set up this Soul-Connect game written by and Carson gets on and he is amazing. And by the way, he is a very smart kid. Like if you talked to him, and then asked him questions back, he can verbalize his learning quite well. The problem is, he needs somebody one-on-one with him and I happen to have 29 other kids in my classroom. So when Carson is playing this game, and he is excelling at it, and all the other kids are struggling around science concepts about cells and transferiority and some really, really high-level concepts. And my favorite thing was so Carson’s playing and pretty soon, kids are figuring out that Carson’s winning this game and he becomes the class teacher for the day. It was awesome! In fact, Carson was the go-to guy. He could not only explain the game and gaming, but he could also explain the concepts to them. And it was just my favorite success story around gaming. [Antero speaking] And did you see that transfer out of, beyond the game in terms of what Carson was able to do? [Tammy speaking] Yes, here’s why. For Carson it’s more about socialization so what I loved was that it elevated his position in my class and then when we would go do a group projects he couldn’t do them for long periods of time but he could start, because he could now communicate with people and people realized that they could communicate back with him, so that transferred to other lessons and other labs. It wasn’t perfect, by any means, but now I could actually hand him science equipment, colored pencils, whatever else. So he was wonderful. [Antero speaking] That’s really cool. Thanks. High-five.