We got down and boogied this term!
We used the wii Boogie game to try and get some dance moves happenin’ ready for the Year 6 Farewell Dance at the end of the year.
I had hoped to integrate a number of areas of the curriculum with this game program, as I thought it would be a fun and motivating way to end the year. And it was fun and motivating but it didn’t pan out exactly the way I had in mind, and I wasn’t able to implement everything I hoped to.
Rather than imposing all my ideas about the game and how it could fit into our learning, I asked the class for their thoughts and ideas first. They came up with some ideas for science investigations into the heart, lungs and blood, as well as identifying “sound” as another possible area of study.
We thought that we could set up some sound experiments around the room (modeled on the way the CSIRO set up their school science programs that we took part in earlier in the year). Students would arrange themselves in pairs or groups of three and prepare an experiment for the rest of the class to do.
The other science ideas involved research of the heart, blood or lungs and writing up information into their scrap books (interesting that the students volunteered to hand write their work, and that they were concerned because they hadn’t done much work in their scrap books over the year – this is another post in itself I think 😉 )
It was at this time though that the network went down, we couldn’t use the computers for much besides word processing – and even then we couldn’t save our work. Time took care of the computer problems, but meant that we didn’t have enough left to get our investigative science work done.
We also invented some new characters to introduce to the game, students wrote introductory back stories for their character, based on the back stories of the characters already in the game. They also painted a representation of their character, but the best part was using Vokis to make their characters come to life on our blog! The students designed their characters using the available heads, facial features and accessories on the Voki website, they read their character story and added it to their created avatar and VOILA a talking character made by the students for everyone to see and hear. Great fun! Check out some more of our Vokis on our class blog here and here.
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There was a problem with the Boogie program however, that stifled some of the fun and the ability of the students to interact to a great degree with the game. When we plugged the wii console into the data projector the sound level on the wii was really low, there was no speaker outlet on the data projector. It made it virtually impossible to hear the music on the game, which meant the game was hard to play.
We tried to work around this by using the wii when groups of the class were out of the room, or whilst everyone else was doing quieter work at their desks. It is not possible to have the wii connected all the time either, as we use our interactive whiteboard for other areas of study during the day as well. This was another work around type problem that we had to overcome – not huge, but just one more thing to get in the way of using the program in the way we had envisioned.
All in all, even though we ran out of time to complete this project, the parts that were finished were great! We will have to see if we can’t continue on with our science investigations later on this year.