- Education & Catastrophe
- How A Whodunnit In The Metaverse Got Kids Excited About English Remedial Class
How A Whodunnit In The Metaverse Got Kids Excited About English Remedial Class
Education & Catastrophe 57
Doyobi recently finished running a pilot programme at a Ministry of Education (MOE) primary school to help English remedial students. The students join the Doyobi metaverse in school, with one of their teachers observing them in the classroom. Doyobi’s facilitators lead the session from wherever they are (this gives us the advantage of being able to hire skilled facilitators from anywhere in the world). The learning experience is online, with the students in the same physical classroom.
We started the pilot programme showing students a Doyobi News Special video describing a purported crime. We invented a world inspired by alchemy and steampunk and got our pixel artist colleague to build Chymia on a virtual world platform called Gather Town.
Instead of textbooks, students spend every lesson exploring Chymia in the metaverse, investigating crime scenes, interviewing suspects, collecting clues, and documenting findings in their Young Investigator’s Notebook.
Students practise listening, reading, speaking, writing and critical thinking skills in the context of solving the mystery of the missing ourostone. Take reading for example. Instead of passively reading a story, they are reading to
consolidate key information
Similarly, to make headway in their investigation, they learn to listen with care in order to
note down key information
Consolidate findings on investigation board
The school asked us to run the same programme for their highest performing students, followed by their entire primary five cohort.
Kids are showing up 10-15 mins early to participate in their remedial lessons with Doyobi. Prior to starting Doyobi, they would drag their feet to come 10-15 mins late.
One student from China barely speaks English, so he never says a word in regular class. He is starting to speak up in the Doyobi class.
One teacher was surprised by how some of the quieter kids did for their poster design. She thought they may not be following along, but when they were asked to design a poster they were very creative and persuasive, which caught her by surprise.
What Doyobi has done with this pilot is help bring multiliteracies to the MOE classroom (well, one classroom at least), an approach to education that recognises and embraces the diverse ways in which students communicate and make meaning in today's digital and globalised world. It goes beyond traditional literacy skills such as reading and writing and encompasses a wide range of literacies, including digital literacy, media literacy, visual literacy, cultural literacy, and more.
A multiliteracies learning experience will thus have students engaging not just critically and cognitively with knowledge, but also emotionally and creatively through various ways of expression, performance and making.
A multiliteracies classroom will focus on not just the learning of language, but will also give attention to how meanings are made multimodally.
I asked ChatGPT why multiliteracies matter in the classroom.
Cultural and linguistic diversity: Multiliteracies acknowledge the cultural and linguistic diversity of students in the classroom. It recognises that students come from various backgrounds and bring with them different ways of communicating and understanding the world. By incorporating multiple literacies, educators can create an inclusive learning environment that values and respects diverse perspectives.
Engagement and relevance: Traditional literacy instruction may not always resonate with students who are growing up in a digital and media-saturated world. Multiliteracies recognise the importance of engaging students through the use of various media, technologies, and modes of communication that they encounter in their daily lives. This approach makes learning more relevant, meaningful, and enjoyable for students.
Preparation for the future: Multiliteracies help prepare students for the future by equipping them with the skills and competencies needed in a rapidly changing world. As technology continues to advance and new forms of communication emerge, students must be adaptable, flexible, and lifelong learners. Multiliteracies foster a mindset of continuous learning and enable students to adapt to new technologies, modes of communication, and social practices that may emerge in the future.
It’s worth emphasising the last point on preparation for the future. ChatGPT puts forth that multiliteracies prepare students for the future by developing adaptable, digitally competent, critical, collaborative, creative, and culturally aware individuals.
Adaptability and flexibility: The future is characterised by constant change and uncertainty. Multiliteracies foster adaptability and flexibility in students, enabling them to navigate new technologies, modes of communication, and social practices that may emerge. By engaging with diverse literacies, students learn to embrace innovation, think creatively, and adjust their skills and knowledge to new contexts.
Digital and technological competence: In today's digital age, being digitally competent is crucial for success in education and future careers. Multiliteracies support the development of digital literacy skills, including the ability to navigate digital platforms, use digital tools for learning and communication, and understand the ethical and responsible use of technology. These skills are essential for students to thrive in the digital era and become active participants in the digital society.
Critical thinking and information literacy: The abundance of information in the digital era requires students to develop critical thinking and information literacy skills. Multiliteracies encourage students to analyse, evaluate, and synthesise information from multiple sources, enabling them to make informed decisions and solve complex problems. These skills are invaluable as students encounter diverse perspectives, navigate media messages, and engage in civic and social issues.
Collaboration and communication: Multiliteracies foster collaborative and communicative skills that are essential for future workplaces. Students engage in group projects, digital collaborations, and online communication, learning to work effectively in diverse teams and communicate their ideas clearly and persuasively. The ability to collaborate and communicate across different mediums and cultural contexts prepares students for globalised and interconnected work environments.
Creativity and innovation: Multiliteracies encourage students to think creatively and express their ideas through different media and modes of communication. By engaging with visual literacy, digital storytelling, and other creative practices, students develop innovative thinking, problem-solving skills, and the ability to express themselves in diverse and engaging ways. These skills are highly valued in future careers that require imaginative thinking and the ability to adapt to changing demands.
Global and cultural awareness: Multiliteracies promote cultural literacy and global awareness by exposing students to diverse perspectives, cultural artifacts, and media representations from around the world. Students learn to understand and respect different cultures, value diversity, and navigate intercultural communication. In an increasingly interconnected world, these skills are essential for fostering global citizenship and promoting a more inclusive and tolerant society.
If you’re interested in increasing learner engagement and bringing multiliteracies to the classroom, please email me at [email protected]
If you enjoyed this week’s issue, you may want to check out issue 21 of Education & Catastrophe ‘Critical Thinking’.
Till the next issue!