Games Day itself was fraught with problems! I had come down very badly with the flu, and was dosed up with antibiotics, struggling to stay vertical! A number of groups missed the deadline and were frantically emailing me their projects to post on the web-page I had made. In most cases these late submissions did not work.
Nicholas Smuts and Peggie Mars had agreed to judge the entries. They prepared a rubric, and took their work very seriously indeed. In the picture we can see the judges deliberating on their choices. I had placed all the games on a web-page, with a link from the school intranet page. This allowed students to access the games from anywhere on campus.
I can’t say the school was abuzz with students playing the games, but a number did, and it certainly raised the profile of ICT within the school.
The judges seemed genuinely impressed with the work the girls had done, and there was a great deal of discussion over the ranking of the games. It suited my purposes to be able to give out certificates, and prizes for the winners.
The comments of the judges were of great help to me as well. It made me keenly aware that what they valued most was applications in the real world, while I tended to look for internal consistency in design and execution with polish and panache. It made me acutely aware that I needed to ground the project more fully in a real-world situation. One of my aims had been to promote authentic learning, but it had got lost along the way a little. The judges were excited by projects which could be extended into real world applications, and I can see that a great deal more could have been done to ensure that all the projects met this criterion.
Next year I would like to have the project commissioned by departments within the school, for example, and all the groups working towards a greater whole – for example a game which would allow you to explore the human body, or learn French. I say this, but need to think about it, because there was a great deal to be said for the raw energy of what was produced – but it does need a little more focus and direction.