Computer Games

Many of you have expressed concerns about computer game addiction at school and the problems associated with gaming. To be 100% crystal clear, South Island School strongly recommends parents that students not download games onto laptops. The full policy on gaming is as folls:

South Island School: Policy for the use of Computer Games
South Island School wholeheartedly embraces the benefits, which computer games bring to teaching and learning. The importance of play (Jenkins, 2006) combined with problem solving skills, generic conventions, computer programming skills and the historical, cultural and artistic context surrounding online roleplaying games all offer learning opportunities when used in the correct context.

However, the school takes the wellbeing of our students very seriously and subsequently we advocate a balanced approach both in school and at home. A student showing signs of addiction and who seeks opportunities to play before and after school as well as during break and lunch would be a cause for concern. Tutees and tutors alsike are encouraged to act when this obsessive behavior is exhibited with the overall wellbeing and developmental level in emotional/social skills and intelligence of the child in mind.

As a school we start from the position of the ‘protection model’ in which parents and students are strongly recommended not to download games onto laptops. At a later stage and in consultation with tutors, Heads of House, parents and the student (See STINT model), further measures may be enforced including the removal of the laptop as a tool for teaching and learning. This final measure is usually a temporary measure but can be permanent if it is felt that the overall wellbeing of the student is being endangered by the use of computer games.

We stress that a differentiated approach is required in the implementation of a policy towards computer games. Solutions to any problems identified are always sought via a system of collaboration and support. We have elected Digital/Wellbeing Representatives in Years 7-9 for supporting students in removing all computer games from school, unless directed by a teacher. Students are encouraged to offer training in their perceived identification of the benefits associated with contemporary computer games whilst the school also promotes the review system of new games offered by Common Sense Media at www.commonsensemedia.org

Iain Williamson
June 2014


We do recognise that their are valid arguments for the use of computer games in schools as can be seen in the following video resources:

https://www.coursera.org/course/videogameslearning

The student led digital representatives/wellbeing rep's in Y7 and Y8 (2013/14 academic year) identified that certain games such as Minecraft (non Survival Mode) has educational potential but simply playing it in lessons/tutor time is an unethical and poor use of the time allocated. A clear purpose for learning is required. (e.g. Designing the new school hall using Minecraft)

We want to embrace computer game technologies but without ignoring the development of social skills in our students. Hence, we seek to support students in developing the self-discipline skills required for a balanced life. We hope that students understand that it is their welfare, which motivates the decisions we make.


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