Author(s): Paolo Nappo, Vincenza Cupertino
Date of publication: June 14, 2015
The Educational Problem
According to the Board of Education guidelines regarding the new reorganization of schools, whoever achieves a specialized diploma in Graphic Design and Communication must be competent in interpersonal and mass communication and have know-how as regards technology. Such competences are supported by a common cultural area which offers further insight on the complexity of society, implementing technical and critical knowledge as well as a willingness towards change, indispensable for our present times.
The class which is taking part in this project is a second-year one, made up of 27 students of the Technical and Technological Institute for Graphic Design and Communication. Their starting levels are diverse and some students also have complicated personal backgrounds which all too often disturb the learning process.
The following situations, supported by documentation, can be highlighted:
- 1 student with diverse abilities who follows a differentiated school programme
- 2 students who attended a different school the previous year
- 1 student who is in a correctional penitentiary
- 1 student with specific learning disabilities (dyscalculia)
- 1 student with severe reduced mobility difficulties which complicate the socialization process
The class which has been selected to experiment with this new project is a first year class of a Secondary Technical and Technological School specializing in Graphic Design and Communication. It is a new study-orientation which is present for the first time in our school and foresees a more creative learning approach as it is supported by a technological, scientific and computerized dimension which is part of its specific syllabus.
The choice for the project and for creating a videogame is a consequence of the necessity to experiment with new learning ways and to experiment with the use of ICT, in order to make didactics closer to the learning schemes of our students by means of a plurality of languages, which are those used when putting a videogame together: electronic culture, cinema, animation, literature, painting, cartoons, etc.
The aim is to stimulate collaboration among students through team work, making some situations less dramatic and making students more receptive and participative also during traditional lessons; to stimulate specific logical and creative abilities through discussion (by imagining hypothetical situations and immersing oneself in new problems trying to find a solution to such problems); to create new ways of self-evaluation and shared evaluation; to balance the knowledge of mathematical languages and algorithmic ones, as foreseen by the Italian Board of education guidelines.
We have often asked ourselves “How useful is what we are doing?”. From a didactic point of view it has been very useful as it has pushed us teachers towards a synchronized way of working, planning, modifying and verifying.
As for the students, it has also been useful as it has allowed them to learn in a different way using both old and new literary books, they have been challenged by Scratch, a new programming language, used for the creation of interactive stories, games and animations that could be shared on the web. It has been also useful for web surfers who can come across the game The legend of NOVECENTO and find it fun.
Materials and Links