Learning through games a winner

Alice Leung

A science teacher from Sydney's western suburbs who uses technology-based games to improve learning has been recognised with a prestigious national award.

Alice Leung, from Merrylands High School, is Microsoft Partners in Learning Teacher of the Year 2012, beating competitors across Australia.

To get her students excited about learning, Alice began embedding games-based learning in everyday classroom practice. She used a variety of different types of games, including those she and the students built using the Microsoft Kodu Game Lab, as well as integrating off-the-shelf game consoles into learning - transforming Xbox 360 and Kinect from entertainment devices to learning tools.

When Ms Leung wanted her Year 10 students to learn about, and experience for themselves, the effects of mobile phone usage on driving skills she got them to use a driving game on the Xbox 360 to design a project to track their ability to play the game while using their phone to talk and text.

Since using this innovative teaching style, Ms Leung has found that not only have results improved, but the students are more excited about their education, in large part because they are learning in a way familiar to them.

Ms Leung is now sharing her teaching techniques with other staff at the school with the aim of encouraging their use by other subject areas.

She will represent Australia at the Microsoft Partners in Learning Global Forum 2012 in Athens, Greece, in November 2012.

Photo: Alice Leung. Photo supplied by Microsoft.

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