<ul><li>The journal mainly discusses what needs to happen in the future to make educational games both fun and relevant to students. It is mentioned that many classrooms already benefit from computer games, however, there has not been enough research culled to substantiate this. Most research feedback is obtained at the college level or high school level. </li></ul>
<ul><li>One thing that is discussed with great frequency throughout the article is the idea of a reward system set up within the game that is not tied to academics (i.e. grades etc.). The other note of importance is the idea of needing to design educational games that engage the students’ interest as opposed to testing their performance in a given area of study. </li></ul>Most educational games to date have been produced in the absence of any coherent theory of learning or underlying body of research. – Squire, Halverson and Gee (2004)
I definitely understand what is trying to be achieved in this research document. I am a bit surprised though at the lack of in depth research dealing with this medium. Educational games are not new to the classroom. In fact, I believe they have been around for approximately twenty years. Why has no one in the technology, educational or psychology departments at universities taken up this important research? There is so much good that could come about by lighting a fire under students in garnering their interests in different subject areas (math, science, English, history, etc.). I also have a hard time believing that many primary schools would not want to partake in such important research. Educational games have quite a bit to offer in regards to curriculum support.
This second summary is a compilation of many resources due to the lack of information found in full articles pertaining to educational games. One would not think of educational games as an emerging technology since it has been used in schools for quite some time. The problem I have been finding is that it seems researchers and academics have not taken this medium seriously until, perhaps, within the last two years or so. Considering that 93% of students in grades K-12 actively play video games for 8-10 hours per week, it is surprising that schools and software developers have not been more proactive in bringing educational games into mainstream curriculum. What is even more interesting is that of the games that do exist, they are either games that are nothing more than homework drills or are more advanced and underutilized by schools and teachers.
In my research I found that for the most part educational games have not been used in grades K-12 for the main reason that many educators do not understand their benefits or do not know how to integrate them within their classrooms. As it stands, computer games are primarily used as a reward system for students once regular instruction and work has been completed. In a quote from the article Students want more use of gaming technology; “Melissa Young, district mathematics specialist for Orange County Public Schools of Florida”, in reference to an educational mathematics game tested and adopted by the schools; “ As I’ve been working with the math teachers and students in recent weeks, I’ve realized why it works – because it gives kids a reason to want to learn math”…”Within the first few weeks, we saw students seeking assistance from teachers before the scheduled time for math, so they could beat their friends…..It’s driving up math scores.”
Although I had to treat my second article more like a research paper, I found that the many sources compiled together better served the purposes if this portion of my power point assignment. As I delve further into examining the genre of educational games the more I am finding out that this is definitely an emerging technology. Considering I am a gamer myself, I am utterly astonished at the almost complete void of legitimate research on this subject. The fact that I had to comb through so many meager tidbits of information just to bring this medium to light is proof of now new this resource is to the education world. The overriding theme that I have found amongst the different sources that I have tapped is that there is a definite need for educational games, and that of the games that currently exist they are either under utilized or ignored completely. I believe, as a future educator, that we as teachers are missing a big opportunity in getting our students actively engaged in learning when we do not use all the resources that are available to us.
In reference to educational games, this paper does not offer as much insight as one would think after reading the abstract. Of ten pages concerning everything from discipline problems to classroom teaching theories, only the last two pages mention using video games in an educational format. The author makes a good point of why we do not see educational games used within regular classroom instruction: A primary obstacle in promoting the widespread use of video games in education is the adult public’s negative perception of them.
Further discussed in the paper is the need to walk away from teaching styles that we have used for the last 100 years, due to the way children are “wired” today. The kids of today are the first generation to be completely surrounded by all forms of digital mediums. The constant bombardment of instant gratification and immediate rewards has born out an era of children that are bored with the old style of teaching. This boredom leads to inattentiveness and discipline problems in the classroom. Computer games can stimulate children’s minds while meeting the needs of instant gratification, while pushing them to learn as they are rewarded by incentives to reach more difficult levels within the games. Children will want to actively learn as they play computer games if they are graphic intensive, unpredictable and set up in a non-educational format (i.e. drills, electronic textbooks etc.). As has been mentioned in so many other papers concerning educational games, there is a real need for game developers to construct games in genres such as adventure games, simulation games, role playing games, etc.
It was interesting how this article went through the history of education, education as it is now, and what education could become. Upon reading this article I particularly enjoyed how the author set up a very strong argument for the use of video games to promote education. The paper gave a well rounded view of this medium can effectively work in the classroom. The literary illustrations were nice on how video games can promote teamwork, higher thinking processes, and the ability to progress at a faster rate. The other aspect of this paper that caught my attention was the explanation for why there may be a lack of interest in integrating educational gaming with the constructs of today’s classroom.
I have learned much from the masses of articles that I have climbed through while producing this PowerPoint presentation. My hope is that you, the reader, will garner a bit more understanding of educational games and their possible positive affects in the classroom. The one common thread that ties all of these papers together is the understanding of how useful educational/video games are in the classroom, and how it has the ability to be much more than it is now. Overall, the creation of this PowerPoint has been a rather pleasant process of which I no longer fear. I am so grateful to have learned this once foreign application . Bibliography Bacon, M., Blood, L., Ault, M., Adams, D.,(2008). 4Kids.Org: topical, searchable, and safe internet-based resource for children and youth. Education Libraries: Children’s Resources, v31 n1 p46-50 Spring 2008. Arcademic Skill Builders: Online Educational Video Games http://www.arcademicskillbuilders.com/research.htm , resourced on 4-22-2009 Stansbury, M. ,assistant editor, eSchool News (Tuesday, April 8, 2008): Students want more use of gaming technology. http://www.eschoolnews.com/resources/collaboration-and-storage/articlescs/index.cfm?i=53443 , resourced on 4-22-2009 Video games ‘stimulate learning’ (Monday, 18 March, 2002). BBC NEWS/Education. Malala, J., Major, A., Maunez-Cuadra, J., McCauley-Bell, P. The Use of Rewards in Instructional Digital Games: An Application of Positive Reinforcement. Retrieved from Education Resources Information Center. (ED496127) Fishman, E. (2007) e-One Room Schoolhouse: Adapting to the New Kids (Opinion Papers; Reports – Evaluative) Source: Online Submission. Retrieved from E.R.I.C. (ED495306) All papers found on ERIC or accessed through resources found on Eric. Craig Larner