Former Como teacher researches video games as education tools

Como resident Megan Pusey is researching games for high school education at Murdoch University.
Como resident Megan Pusey is researching games for high school education at Murdoch University.

A FORMER Como teacher’s hobby of playing video games has grown into in-depth research on using video games as educational tools.

Former Penrhos College science teacher Megan Pusey taught her students the subject of rock cycles and earth stones through the game Minecraft.

“What we found is that they’re not necessarily more interested in rock or rock cycles, but they were more interested in coming to class,” she said.

“To me that’s a win for students to want to come to your class and be excited to come and start learning.

“That made me see the power and the value in using games in education.”

After a break from teaching, Mrs Pusey is now researching how to develop a merge of educational and commercial games as a PhD student at Murdoch University.

“Traditionally games made for the classroom are just like a digital quiz and not fun, necessarily,” she said.

Mrs Pusey was one of 13 people who received an International Access Pass grant from the State Government last month.

“My travel grant is to attend a conference in New York called Games for Change, it’s all about using games in education, health and medicine,” she said.

“It’s often unaffordable to go, so this grant will let us go and make contact with people who are some of the best in the world in the field.”

Mrs Pusey said her PhD research focused on high school students using games to see academic failures differently.

“You’re learning to play the games through failing a bunch of times and eventually you win or get to the end,” she said.

“I think that teenage years are very formative and you don’t want to come out of high school not being able to deal with setbacks in your life.”