Gaming Software in Education: Implementation and Institutionalization of a Popular Innovation Roxann M. Grover, Miriam P. Rodríguez and Gwendolyn J. Simmons The University of Houston Clear Lake
Early Gaming In May 1972, the “first ever commercially available home video game” system, Odyssey, was released (Hunter, 2000, para. 9).
Early Gaming Early Video Games Odyssey Video Game Play
Background Since then, the gaming industry has “quickly become one of the most pervasive, profitable, and influential forms of entertainment in the United States and across the world” (Squire, n.d., p. 1).
Background As a result, it is only natural that some educators try to harness the power of video games to teach important concepts and “facilitate learning” (Squire, n.d., p. 1).
Background Games are not new to education, but it is only in recent decades, since the “microcomputer era”(Roblyer & Doering, 2010, p.9) began, that computers have been used widely in the classroom, providing the opportunity to incorporate electronic video gaming software with curriculum.
Educational Gaming Today Computers continued to progress and in the 1990s the Internet began to be used widely, providing circumstances for educational video gaming software to flourish. As a result, many educational video games are available to enhance learning. Games such as Sim City allow students to create complex realistic societies, while games like Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree, ClickN READ Phonics, and ClickN SPELL among many others provide the opportunity to enhance spelling, reading, and mathematics.
Educational Gaming Today Furthermore, “the medium of educational games provides an opportunity for teachers to introduce educational and playful elements into the learning environment…
Educational Gaming Today …With computer-aided learning programs, teachers may assist students on social aspects such as critical learning, knowledge based communication and effective interpersonal skills that traditional methods of teaching cannot offer” (Wikipedia, 2010, para. 6).
Specific Problem “Although some authorities and critics accept video games, the majority express deep concern and some reject them outright, blaming them for the growth of a culture of violence” (de Aguilera and Méndiz, 2003, p.1). This negative view of video games provides barriers to implementation and institutionalization of gaming software in education.
Specific Problem Alternatively, “in spite of attempts to demonstrate that video games have a pernicious influence on players, most researchers have not provided scientific evidence to support their claims. On the contrary, some positive effects, particularly ones of an instructive nature, have proven to be more empirically and theoretically evident” (de Aguilera & Méndiz, 2003, p.1).
Implementation Implementation is the fourth step of the Innovation Decision Process (IDP) as it relates to diffusion of innovations in Instructional Design & Technology. IDP has five distinct stages: Knowledge, Persuasion, Decision, Implementation, and Confirmation (Surry, 1997, para. 9). At the implementation stage of the model, the innovation is still considered fairly new and is being used by its target audience.
Implementation Gaming can be seen as at this stage because it is still being examined for worthiness in schools. Gaming
Institutionalization Institutionalization occurs after the confirmation stage in IDP. When an innovation is institutionalized, it is used on a daily basis by its target audience in its intended setting. The innovation has been accepted by everyone within the organization as necessary for productivity.
Conclusion If instructional designers and educators come to a better understanding, they can harness the usage of computers and games to further their academic goals.
Conclusion Computers and video games can bring us into a new technological era in the learning arena, where a popular form of children’s entertainment can be combined with curriculum to provide a powerful teaching and learning tool.
References de Aguilera, M. &Méndiz, A. (2010). Video games and education. Retrieved from http://www.migueldeaguilera.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/VIDEOGAMES-AND-EDUCATION.pdf Hunter, W. (2000, September). The history of video games: From “pong” to “pac-man.” Designboom. Retrieved from http://www.designboom.com/eng/education/pong.html Roblyer, M. D. &Doering, A. H. (2010). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (5th ed.) Pearson Education, Inc.
References Surry, D. W. (1997). Diffusion theory and instructional technology. Retrieved fromhttp://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwitr/docs/diffusion Squire, K. (n.d.). Video games in education. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/downloaddoi=10.1.1.100.8500&rep1&type=pdf Wikipedia. (2010) Educational game. Retrieved fromhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Educational_game