AERA 2013 Conference Presentation: Digital Divide and Globaloria


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"How Sustained Engagement in Game Design and Social Media Use Among Diverse Students Can Mitigate Effects of the Digital Divide "

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  • This presentation reports on work being done in the context of . . . .
  • In addition to the amazing impact we have seen over the past few years researching and evaluating the Globaloria program we…We are in unique position of having everything we do be rooted in years of academic research and real-world practice. In the 1980s and 1990s, while at Harvard and the MIT Media Lab, Idit really founded the concept that children learn best by designing – when they are programming computers instead of computers programming them. Ground breaking research with children in Bronx, showing how software designing could change their relationship to education and their engage them in learning in a way that had not been seen before
  • AERA 2013 Conference Presentation: Digital Divide and Globaloria

    1. 1. How SustainedEngagementin Game Design andSocial Media UseAmong Diverse StudentsCan Mitigate Effects ofthe Digital Divide2013 AERA ConferenceRebecca Reynolds, Assistant ProfessorRutgers UniversityMing Ming Chiu, ProfessorSUNY-Buffalo
    2. 2. Digital Participation in a Democracy• Important social, political, cultural, economic activity is occurring in onlineenvironments and participation in digital culture is becoming necessary todemocracy (Mossberger, Tolbert, and McNeal; Jenkins, 2009, Hobbs, 2010;Horrigan, 2011).• Inequalities in technology access may result in knowledge gaps, educationalopportunity barriers and disparities in groups’ socio-economic potential, allof which run counter to fulfillment of democratic goals and ideals(Bonfadelli, 2002).
    3. 3. Research QuestionsHow can we cultivate such digital literacy in youngpeople to bring about a more equitable society?Broadly:• To what extent does middle school and high school students’ participationand engagement in a guided discovery-based program of game designlearning mitigate the effects of some of the known socio-economicpredictors of the digital divide?• To what extent are known predictors of digital literacy in cross-sectionalresearch maintained, reduced, or washed out entirely as predictors afterstudents engage in program?
    4. 4. InterventionGlobaloria:• Introduces students to online tools, resources, information, communities bothinside and outside of the e-learning environment• Designed to cultivate students’ digital fluency, perhaps meeting Papacharissi &Easton’s interesting definition• Affords opportunity, tools, and environment to explore, discover, play withideas, possibilities• Also allows students to practice what it means to influence the design ofgames, rules, systems, mechanisms• Conscious conceptualization of field, and influence over its rules, aspowerful actors
    5. 5. INTERVENTION: Guided discovery-based game design programand curriculum offered by the WorldWide Workshop. MS, HSteachers and students gain experience and expertise in a range ofagentive digital practices.
    6. 6. Globaloria is currently activein 4 U.S. states: CA,TX, NY,WV, >2000 students
    7. 7. Domains of Learning and Expertise• Game Example• Constructionist digital literacy (skills needed in knowledge economy =>6-CLAs)• Computational thinking through game design in Flash and programming inActionscript• Core curricular subject matter:o When game subjects are linked to core curriculum and students deepenknowledge about topic through online research and design• STEM career interests: Technology & Engineering; Computer Science• Motivation, Affect, Attitudes, Life Choices, New Possibilities and Horizons
    8. 8. Globaloria Game Design Program Learning Objectives:Cultivate the Six Contemporary Learning Abilities (6CLAs)Developing games in a social e-learning system cultivates participatorypractices that simulate productive engagement in today’s digital culturesand knowledge-based economy
    9. 9. Analysis
    10. 10. Results, Home Computer Use• Before the game design activity, students whoseparents had one level of schooling above the meanshowed 6% greater home computer use than studentswhose parents had the mean level of schooling.• After the game activity however, there was nosignificant difference with respect to parent education
    11. 11. Results, School Computer Use• Students averaged 26% greater school computer useafter the game design activity than before it.• Further, findings indicate that school-level parenteducation influences outcomes.• Imagine two schools, one whose students’ parents havemore schooling and one whose students’ parents have lessschooling. After Globaloria, school computer use increasessubstantially in both schools, but more so in schools inwhich students’ parents have less schooling.• These variables accounted for 18% of the variance instudents’ school computer use.
    12. 12. Results, Basic Computer Activities• Students whose self-reported grades were one lettergrade above the mean averaged 2% fewer computeractivities after the game design activity than before it.• Self-reported grades accounted for 1% of the variancein students’ basic computer activities.
    13. 13. Results, Advanced Computer Activities• Students averaged 14% more advanced computeractivities after the game design activity than before it.• Before the game design activity, student who reportedgrades one letter grade above the mean averaged 17%more advanced computer activities than students whoreported grades at the mean.• After the game design activity however, the advancedcomputer activities did not differ significantly amongstudents with different self-reported grades
    14. 14. Discussion• Students from schools with lower levels of parenteducation (SES proxy) may stand to gain; programs like thismay aid in allowing lower income students to catch up /achieve greater equity among more affluent peers• May also give students who underperform in traditional schoolcontexts a new activity in which they can flourish in the schoolenvironment (geeking out club)• Longer-term research may indicate that Globaloria affordsstudents with life experiences that influence their habitus,cultural capital, understanding and practice in fields• Vision of life and livelihood possibilities
    15. 15. Rebecca.reynolds@gmail.comRutgers University website to IMLS!Thanks to my partners!Globaloria.orgWorldwideworkshop.orgThank you!