This was our day as a network to meet to discuss how we would be using the Wii to promote and enhance Literacy within our schools - and of course to pick up our Wiis!
AIM: The aim of the day was to provide us all with a real context for using the games primarily with literacy.
*To evaluate the games - their ease of use, if they were worthwhile for use within classroom
*To mind map/brainstorm activities and a structure for use
*To look at the thoughts of the children from our classes - we had asked all of them - if we were going to get a Wii, what games would you use in school and why!
So what did we do?
We played - sorry we evaluated the games! We divided ourselves into small groups and set up 3 of the Wiis and had a look at the following games: Zac and Wiki, Wild Earth - African Safari, Carnival fun games, Word coach, Big Brain Academy, Mario and Sonic at the Olympics, Another code R, Mario Kart, Wall-E, Job Island, Endless Ocean, Wii Music, Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort.
As we were evaluating them, we were making notes on our initial thoughts of the interface, game play and how we could link it first to Literacy and then across the curriculum. We then sat down as a group and fed back on the games that we had played and potential uses, which we put down in the form of mind maps. See below for photo from the day:
Wii development day on PhotoPeach
Looking at Wall E the game, we thought that the work would come more easily from using the film instead of the game and we didn't really 'get' Wii Music, this may be because of time playing the game? As a group we decided to buy copies of Big Brain Academy and Word coach for every school(6) in the borough, as we felt these would be great as starters and activities that could be sued with small groups. We also decided to purchase 3 copies of the following games: Another Code R, Wild Earth- African Safari, Mario Kart and Sonic and Mario at the Olympics. As well as purchasing at least one copy of Endless Ocean, Endless Ocean 2 is due for release in 2010(North America) so this may be one for the future.
Moving on, we looked at the games that the children had suggested, these included: Super Smash Brothers, Cooking Mama, titles from the Imagine range, Blazing Angels, Legend of Zelda and Sims. We decided that we would purchase copies of Cooking Mama and Drawn to life to add to the titles within the network.
So, at the end of the day, I feel that we met our aims, and all went away with a Wii for the school and a game to begin trialling. We will be posting on here images and thoughts of the use within our classrooms and evaluating the impact is has on the learning of our children. So watch this space!