Internet addiction is a form of "any online-related obsessive, compulsive behavior that interferes with an affected person's normal living, and causes severe stress on himself", his friends and loved ones. It is also described as an "impulse-control disorder which is similar to pathological gambling" (Dr. Young, 2010).
There are several forms of internet addiction disorders. The most common ones are "pornography addiction, gaming addiction and gambling addiction" (Internet Addiction: Escapism or Psychological Disorder?).
On a survey done by Parents Advisory Group for the Internet (PAGi) in 2003 (Khoo, A., Liau, A., & Tan, E., 2006), the top 3 reasons for using the internet among Singaporean students are:
Sending and receiving e-mail
Playing games on the internet
The top 2 reasons are not the main concern but the third one is making parents and teachers worry.
Students, especially those in the primary school level may be too young to have the ability to "strike a balance between the virtual and the physical world" (Lim, W.Y., 2010). If such a balance is not achieved, it may lead to gaming addiction. When students are addicted to online games, they tend to stay online longer than intended and would often neglect other important activities such as doing their homework or social activities. Some would often lose their "precious" sleep due to late-night log-ins. When they did not get enough rest, they will end up feeling tired and lethargic in school. All these interfere with student's concentration and affect their ability to focus well in class.
Frequently neglecting their school work and failing to turn in homework assignments would cause them to lag behind in their studies and their grades would definitely be affected. Some would also experience isolation from family members and friends as they prefer to stay at home interacting with their "online friends" instead. Many popular online games enable players to pay for additional tools and accessories to enhance their online character. As they are still young, most do not have the financial ability to pay for these accessories. Therefore, they often resort to theft.
With reference to my lesson plan, I have chosen primary 4 students because at this age, I feel that they are old enough to understand what gaming addiction is. Gaming addiction, just like any other addictions are really hard to quit and treatment can sometimes be difficult. It is crucial that they realised their addiction problem sooner and overcome their addiction immediately because in two years time, they will be sitting for their major examination which is the Primary Six Leaving Examination (PSLE).
By recognising the signs and symptoms of gaming addiction, students will have the right knowledge and skills to maintain a balanced use of technology and have appropriate preventive measures set in place to counter addiction. They will also be able to live life normally, excel academically and prevent any unnecessary stress on family, friends and loved ones.
3. Rationalize how the activities in your lesson plan are designed, based on relevant dimensions of meaningful learning that you have identified for your students. (10 marks)
During the introduction, I will advise them to incorporate the KWL method into Linoit and type out what they already know and what they wonder about online game addiction. From this activity, I am trying to determine whether the students have any pre-existing experience or understanding on the information. From their response, I would then be able to gauge how much prior knowledge these students have. Even if their prior knowledge is minimal, it would still be advantageous for me to engage them as it would made it easier for the students to relate the new knowledge to their pre-existing experience.
Next, I will show the class a video of a real-life issue on online game addiction. By using a real-life issue and problem, I can help engage the students' attention and motivation towards the lesson. When they realise how realistic the problem is, they will be more interested to listen and pay attention. As the issue concerns them, they will be able to accept the objective of the lesson.
After watching the video, students will again be asked to use Linoit but this time, they will be asked to type what they had just learned from the video. This activity will build upon their existing prior knowledge and thus help them in knowledge retention. They will be able to clarify their doubts and at the same time gain new knowledge.
After the video activity, students will be broken into 6 groups. Each group will be given a question or topic on online game addiction. Students are to access the 5 websites provided and do their research. They are to present their research findings to the class and discuss about their findings during the presentation. This activity is to foster collaborative learning between students. Students learn more and retain longer through working in groups. Through this activity, they will also learn valuable skills such as teamwork, negotiation and communication.
4. What practical concerns may occur during the implementation of the lesson? In other words, what may go wrong? (5 marks)
Technology and technical problems such as power failure, audio and video equipment failure are some of the concerns that may occur during implementation of the lesson. Some examples are computer breakdown, intermittent internet connection, unable to open PowerPoint slides presentation, running the video clip and air-condition failure. These problems will disrupt the lesson and may make students feel uncomfortable and restless.
The students might take a longer time than expected to complete an activity. This might affect the lesson plan as there might not be enough time to execute other activities. Students might not be motivated or interested, not able to understand the teacher's explanations or expectations or they might find the topics being taught too difficult to digest. Students who are unable to perform a task will often strike up conversations with their peers. Some students may even become disruptive and affects and the overall concentration of other students.
What seem to be easy directions for an activity might be confusing for the students. There might also be conflicts among students. The lesson might also get diverted therefore the teacher should be prepared and plan how to guide the class back to the lesson plan.
Online Game Addiction
Primary 4 (40 students)
Kinesthetic learners, auditory learners & visual learners.
Pupils have basic pre-requisite skills in using internet where they have been taught how to search for information from websites provided by the teacher
Pupils have basic pre-requisite skills in using the Linoit tool where they have been taught how to post their comments, answers or ideas online
Pupils have basic pre-requisite knowledge in using KWL (iKnow, iWonder, iLearned) method
Using a full computer laboratory, there will be 40 computers, each with ICT access. Each pupil will be assigned to one computer. Computers are arranged in a way that encourages collaboration among pupils and enables teachers to monitor pupils' activities and provide guidance easily.
By the end of the lesson, all the primary 4 pupils will be able to:
Evaluate with 80% accuracy the degree of their online game addiction through a given self-assessment worksheet
Recognise at least 5 negative impacts of online game addiction and produce at least 5 practical strategies to avoid game addiction without reference to any materials
Description of instructional strategies
Description of activities
Students will be questioned what they understand from the word "Addiction". After hearing the response from the students, I would correct, add or explain the word further if necessary. Students will be asked to name examples of addiction to assess their understanding further on the definition of the word. I will then introduce "Online Game Addiction" as another example of addiction.
I will ask students to incorporate KWL method into Linoit. They will be required to type out what they already know and what they wonder about online game addiction. I will then play a video of a real-life issue on online game addiction.
After the video, I will again ask students to use Linoit but this time they will type out what they had just learned from the video and compare it with what they already know. This way they will be able to clear some doubts and justify their current perception on the topic. I will pick out some answers and misconceptions given by students and present to the class. I would add additional information and will clarify misconceptions to the class.
(An example of common misconception: As long as you spend more than 4 hours a day playing online games, you are addicted to it. This is not necessary; there has to be a compulsion for it to be considered an addiction.)
I will then break the class into 6 groups according to how they were seated in the computer laboratory (4 groups of 7 students and 2 groups of 6 students). Each group will be given a question or topic on online game addiction.
Below are the 6 questions and topics.
Who are more at risk of getting addicted to online games?
Why students get addicted to online games?
Harmful effects of gaming addiction on individual.
Harmful effects of gaming addiction on their friends and loved ones.
Strategies to overcome addiction.
Strategies to prevent addiction.
The students will be given 5 websites for their reference. Using the internet, students are to access the websites provided and do their research. They have to come out with information relating to the questions and topics given above.
Using mahjong paper, each group will present their findings to the class. After the group presentations, there will be a Q&A session plus discussion/review on the group's findings. Students are to give constructive feedback on other groups work. After all the groups have presented, I will then summarise all the groups' findings on the above issues of gaming addiction.
I will give students a 2-in-1 self-assessment and reflection worksheet. In the reflection, they will be asked to rate the degree of their gaming addiction with reference to their self-assessment and to come up with a minimum of 5 strategies to tackle online game addiction. Once they are done, I will collect the worksheets.
I will wrap up the lesson by doing a recap on the causes and harmful effects of online game addiction, and, strategies to overcome and prevent gaming addiction. I will then prompt the class for any additional queries relating to the topic, and proceed to answer questions or clarify doubts raised by the students.
(1 paper per group),