Now that you know a little more about the Mini Jams I thought it would be useful to have teachers who’ve participated in the jams share their experience. Over the next few days I’ll share posts from 4 teachers 3 of whom have participated and one who is going to be leading an event this year.
Simon Kelly is the Head Teacher at Alexandra Parade Primary School and has been involved with the Mini Game Jam since the idea came about. Previously when he was at Royston Primary I approached in early 2013 with my idea for getting the P7’s of Royston & Carntyne together to have an event to celebrate the fact that my research had finished and they’d been working hard on making their own games throughout the research. After a lot of organisation the day of the event came and it was a fab day the kids had a ball and made some cool games in Scratch. Once that event had finished preperations began for the following year with the whole Smithycroft learning community taking part (once they’d heard how good it was). Now heading into the 7th event since that first one on 19th June 2013 I asked why his school is still participating which he has said that “it is a great way of engaging children in technology and coding in particular”.
The first Game Jam Winners June 2013
For him he sees the benefits for pupils as being “teamwork, being creative and working with technology, which helps them with their future employment skills”. While for staff, “it is a key element of the curriculum but also allows them to be creative in engaging children in their learning, as it can be used as part of IDL work in class”.
In 2016 we co-authored a paper that was presented at the European Conference for Games Based Learning to discuss how the Mini Jam was used as a transition event and it can be found here for those wishing to read further. Using Game Jams as a School Transition Event