Guest Post by Deborah Lim, Teacher at Tanglin Secondary School
Playing a game is inherently enjoyable. Whether it is scrabble, Uno, monopoly, basketball or soccer, the activity creates excitement.
Digital games never existed during my growing up years. Learning as a student then was less overtly exciting. Any sense of thrill derived from understanding what my teacher taught was expressed with a delightful smile.
My students grew up (and are still growing) in a digital-saturated environment. Teaching them chemical symbols, formula of ions and ionic compounds had been an uphill task.
Firstly, formulae are difficult to remember. Secondly, subscripts and superscripts can be mind-boggling. Thirdly, the concepts seem irrelevant to daily living. Fourthly, this sub-topic seem so dry and boring.
Yet, chemical formula is the language of Chemistry. It seems boring but it is essential to understand and to master the skill of formulating the formula of ionic compounds. Hence the StaR Kit “What’s your name and what are you made of?”.
Animation, music, instant feedback, time-based game challenge were integrated with “dry instructions and explanations” of concepts in this ICT kit so as to raise the level of engagement and enduring understanding among my students.
This kit can be used in a self-directed lesson after students have been taught the sub-topic: formation of ions. It can also be used for revision. The learning section can be revisited at any point of time, so, students can set their own pace of learning before playing the game.
In whichever way this kit is used, I sincerely hope that teachers and students find it beneficial.