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SITE 2009 - Making Sense of Video Games: Pre-Service Teachers Struggle with This New Medium


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Barbour, M. K., Evans, M., & Toker, S. (2009, March). Making sense of video games: Pre-service teachers struggle with this new medium. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education, Charleston, SC.

This next generation of students has had exposure to digital media far more than any previous generation, particularly video games. Almost daily, news outlets report the latest news on the evils of video games, how much children are playing video games, the potential of video games, and the list just goes on. In this presentation, the researchers explore how pre-service teachers make sense of a commercially purchased video game and its role in classroom teaching.

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SITE 2009 - Making Sense of Video Games: Pre-Service Teachers Struggle with This New Medium

  1. 1. Gaming and the Pre-Service Teacher Dr. Michael Barbour Wayne State University Mr. Mark Evans Gainesville State College Mr. Sacip Toker Wayne State University
  2. 2. Description of Class• It was open to all majors in the University• Gender breakdown: 4 women 16 men• Racial breakdown: All students were White save for one who was of Asian descent.• SES: All students were from middle class backgrounds and above
  3. 3. Description of the Course • Course took place Winter Session 2007 • Course examined using role play and video gaming in the social studies classroom • Students had to play a video game over the course of the semester • Students participated in a One Minute History project with high school students • Students had to create a homemade PowerPoint game that covered 8th Grade GPS
  4. 4. Video Game Journal• After the students chose the game they had to keep a journal• Journal consisted of directed questions asked by the instructors• Students would answer the questions in WebCT and respond to one another
  5. 5. Some Questions Asked Were:• Why did you select the particular game that you purchased? What are your first impressions of playing the game?• Have someone of the opposite gender, not in this class, play your game for at least one (1) hour. Based on your reading of Dickey and that persons experiences, how is your game perceived by the opposite gender?• Based on your reading of Gee and your own game play experience, have you experienced the things that Gee has described? Explain.• Squires completed his Ph.D. dissertation on using Civilization in middle school and high school history classrooms, can your game be used in a social studies classroom? If so, how? If not, why not? Be specific and use both the Georgia Performance Standards and the National Council of Social Studies standards in your discussion.
  6. 6. From The Journals Seven Themes Emerged• Game Preference• Educational Value of the Game• Learning and Game Play• Good Games and Their Characteristics• Bad Games and Their Characteristics• Game Components• Gender Issues In Gaming
  7. 7. Game Preference• Competition Among Friends• Type of Gaming System they had available• Will the Game Fit For Their Purpose For Class• Previous Knowledge Of Game (Halo Series, Tiger Woods Golf)
  8. 8. Educational Value of the Game • They Believe Gaming Gives Computer Confidence • Get Across Difficult Concepts In A Way That Is Meaningful and Long Lasting • Applies “Real Life” Pressure In A Safe Environment
  9. 9. Learning and Game Play• Great For Factual Learning (Vocabulary, Dates)• Teach Higher Order Thinking Skills (Problem Solving)• Build Community and Team Work In Multiplayer Mode
  10. 10. Good Games and Their Characteristics • Detail Of the Game • The More Challenging, the Better (Reality of Challenges) • Well Designed A.I. Makes the Game Accessible To the Player
  11. 11. Bad Games and Their Characteristics• Baby Sitting Purposes (No Challenge)• Must Have Clear Goals and Objectives• Use of Profanity For Shock and Not Part of Plot Movement
  12. 12. Game Components • First Was Features (Controls, Narration, Cle ar Instructions) • Second Was Content (Will This Cover A Standard) • Third Was Rules (What Was the Degree of Reality)
  13. 13. Gender Issues In Gaming• Women Have Different Motor Skills Than Men• Women Spatially Challenged With Some Games• Women’s Motivation Increased With the Availability of Women Playable Characters• Women Love the Wii
  14. 14. Conclusions• Pre-Service Teachers • Games Must Have Clear Feel Strongly That Goals and Accessible Games Are An Controls To Be Useful Important Part of • Not All Games Are Learning In A 21st Beneficial For Century Classroom Classroom Use• Issues of Gender Need • Games Can Build To Be Addressed In Community Gaming • More Research Needs• Games Do Fit In The To Be Done In This Area Curriculum
  15. 15. We Welcome Your Questions