Week 7 Blog #etlead What does the way you play have to do with embracing change and how does this impact you as a professional?


            My gaming personality leans most toward being a “killer” (Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology, 2006).  This makes sense when I think about how I play board games.  I don’t play many online games but my husband will not play competitive games with me because of my gaming personality.  I am a very competitive game player.

            As a killer, I think that I take a new challenge head on.  I embrace change by challenging myself to learn more.  I have been around during the vast changes that have gone on with the Internet.  The Internet has gone through so many changes in a short span of time when you compare it to other technologies (Thomas &Seely Brown, 2011).  Seeing and being part of all of these changes have given me the ability to embrace and become accustomed to these changes.          

            As a professional, I would like to allow my students to embrace the change and learn in new ways.  Students don’t have much time to play in the classroom as they get older so as a professional, I would like to give my students more of an opportunity to use play in the classroom (Thomas &Seely Brown, 2011).  Students should not just be given the opportunity to play but to play using technology.

            I had the opportunity to learn about some great apps for young children while attending the ASTE conference this last week.  I have had most of my teaching experience in the younger elementary grades so I focus mostly on games and technology for those younger ages.  The media or games that these young children are using should be interactive (Lovely, 2014).  Some examples of games and apps that I might encourage my young students to play are: Sphere (to explore new places), Sago Mini Soundbox (a sound app for the youngest learners), Doodlecast (a drawing app that records your voice so that students can write their own stories), and Jellybean Count (an app that encourages cooperative play in math).  These are just some examples of games and apps that I would like to include on my classroom IPads when I return to the classroom.  These allow students to engage in this important and much needed play while they also learn.  I would like to hear about other games and apps that people are using in their classrooms.         


“Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology STATISTICS.” Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology.

Playxpert, 2006. Web. 28 Feb. 2014.

Lovely, Gail. ASTE Conference, 2014, presentations, http://suddenlyitclicks.com

Thomas, Douglas, and John Seely. Brown. A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the

Imagination for a World of Constant Change. Lexington, KY: CreateSpace?,

2011. Print.




13 responses »

  1. Megan,
    A killer? Sounds pretty scary…not sure I would want to get in trouble in your classroom : )
    I am at the other extreme. People don’t like to play games with me because I am so non-competitive. When I play a game with someone, I want them to win since it would make me feel bad that I beat them and they may be sad. I know…loser!! But, I have just never cared if I win a game or not.

    Anyway, one of the things I have learned lately is that there doesn’t need to be a separation between games in the classroom and learning. I used to think they were separate entities. Now I see that they can be intertwined and games and learning can happen at the same time. And, probably the most important bit of info I learned is that games don’t even have to be planned out and organized parts of the lesson…sometimes, I am teaching away and notice I am losing my students (geometry is right after lunch), so I will stop teaching, have everyone get on their coats, and we’ll go for a walk. To me, that is a type of game…plus it builds relationships, takes me out of the formal “teacher role” and places me side by side with my students. We talk, laugh, throw snow at each other, and play around. I think this type of play is also part of the teaching process.

    • Gary – some of my best learning experiences happened on walks. I think it’d be an interesting idea to have your students engage in a scavenger hunt style of game during the walks, e.g. find certain angles, examples of similar triangles (roof eves to roof proper comes to mind), fibonacci sequeneces in the seeds, etc. This would also serve to show how yes there really is math all around us!

    • Gary, I am not too scary, just very competitive but I do let my students win every once in a while :). I agree that we should find ways to make games part of the class. I stop and give my students “mental breaks” and do fun activities like you are talking about and it does really help them refocus.

  2. My dad was a killer. I can’t remember a single time that he took it easy on us during card games, and he was pretty good at them. Complete poker face, never sure if he actually enjoyed them or not! I’d rather explore the rules a bit, try to figure out how to make certain things happen. For example, in Hearts I would strive to stick the Queen of Spades with a certain brother or sister just out of spite, even if it meant that I stood a greater chance of losing myself. I would also try to figure out who was most likely to void themselves of certain suits, etc. Still one of my favorite memories, all those games around the kitchen table.

    • That sounds like fun Colin. In our family it is cribbage, the worst is when my dad and I play because we are both the same. He is more of a sore loser than me though. He will be mad at me for a while if I beat him. I think cribbage would be a fun game to teach students how to play because it involves a lot of counting and adding.

      • Cribbage has become my wife and I’s go-to game whenever we actually can fit it in. Sometimes our “date-night” consists of eating a pizza somewhere and playing cribbage. So exciting!

        I love head math. Never a bad thing, and I can think of many times throughout the day that I do simple arithematic in my head, either for an estimate or a more exact figure. If you need more convincing, here’s a study on the importance of being able to add up single digit numbers in your head that I dug up earlier this year: http://www.jneurosci.org/content/33/1/156.full

  3. Megan,

    I like that you mentioned giving your students more time to play. Not just to play but you spoke specifically about playing with technology. As, I was researching this week I came across something called the Genius Hour. I think you should check this out: http://www.geniushour.com/

    Genius Hour began as part of the Google team. Google would allow their employees to use 20% of their work time to work on their own projects provided these projects might lead to something work related. Now teachers are beginning to embrace this idea in the classroom. I can only imagine how much my students would enjoy exploring something that interests them. I could see myself setting aside even just a little bit of time each week for students to explore their own interests and passions. I think you would probably have to provide suggestionns to get students started but I think once it became routine students would begin to share their ideas and explore on their own. How exciting!

    Thanks for sharing your thouhgts.
    Sara L.

    • Thank you for sharing Sara, it looks very interesting. I love the idea and it really makes sense. I would be very interested in implementing something like this in my classroom.

    • I think most professional workspaces could foster a lot of innovation from “genius hour”, provided there’s ample opportunity and space to showcase those projects for other employees. The hard part is convincing those participating not to use the time and space simply for catching up on previous work – I fall into this same trap constantly. Rather than “sharpening the saw” of my own skillset I spend a lot of time playing catch up. Here’s to spring break!

  4. Megan, I see your killer and raise you an explorer! I think if my dad took that quiz he to would have been a killer. Competitive yet incredibly fun to play with. I like the app ideas you listed. I’m always on the look out for new apps for my students to play with. I wish we could spend a day letting our students play with technology and discover more about what is out there. I believe we as professionals would learn as much if not more from our students.

    • Leslie, that is an interesting idea, having an app day in your class. If you had an administrator who would support it, it would be great. So many of our students have iPads or iPhones, it would be really fun to learn from them and interact with them about apps.

  5. Killer was the one I wanted! (Uh….wait… let me rephrase that….). I personally ended up with explorer, which I was a little surprised at. But I found it amusing that you readily embraced that identity, recognizing your competitive self in gaming. And I appreciate that you recognize that you don’t back down from a challenge! Good for you! If I can find a way around a challenge, I’ll check for that option first,… which isn’t always that best way.

  6. A killer as an early childhood educator, I love it!! My profile isn’t a killer but I’m super-competetive too and my husband won’t play with me either! Your apps were awesome and I’ve had a great time looking through them. I think App Day sounds fabulous! When are you going to do it?

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