In my last post, I introduced  the reasons to consider implementing  gaming at school.   Does this mean the latest top-selling game should be provided to all classrooms just so our students can have some fun? No, it does not. At least not without that old academic favourite:  critical analysis. But for brevity – let’s keep it simple :

It’s a RESOURCE.

Judge it accordingly.

How can we measure this value?

By judging its application to current pedagogical thinking.

McGonigal (2010) espouses the social constructive nature of the collaborative learning environment of “massively multi-player online gaming”. Yet this alone is not a strong enough argument to implement gaming into classrooms. Whitton (2007) states that though gaming does not guarantee motivation in students, it can offer pedagogical benefits, whilst Harushimana (2008) refers to “game based pedagogy” as having a direct influence on literary skills. Accordingly, Klopfer argues for pedagogical consideration in the design process and transforming institutional and instructional approaches to learning,

“Technology changes the way we educate, but the way we educate changes technology”
Klopfer et al (2009)

In doing so, games will become the agent of education, rather than the reverse. To avoid the potential conflicts of educational technology as a political and economic commodity, educators must take care to analyse, evaluate and utilise resources with integrity.

Hadjerrouit (2010) further highlights

“technical usability is not enough for designing pedagogically usable [technologies]”

In other words:

Just because it is usable, does not mean it is useful!

Make it a meaningful classroom resource. Gaming in schools is not just about computer skills – it is a medium to deliver content.

Games are most useful in the learning environment when they have been designed pedagogically or identified for their pedagogical worth. Fun is great but educationally beneficial fun is best.

Resources

Hadjerrouit, S. (2010) A Conceptual framework for using and evaluating web based learning resources in School Education. Journal of Information Technology Education, Volume 9.

Harushimana, I.  (2008) Literacy through Gaming: The Influence of Videogames on the Writings of High SchoolFreshman Male,Journal of Literacy and Technology 35 Volume 9, Number 2: August 2008, ISSN: 1535-0975.

Klopfer et al. (2009) The Instructional Power of Digital Games, Social Networking and Simulations. The Education Arcade.

McGonigal, J. (2010)  Gaming: Making a Better World, http://www.ted.com.

Whitton, N. (2007). Motivation and computer game based learning. In ICT: Providing choices for learners and learning. Proceedings ascilite Singapore 2007. http://www.ascilite.org.au

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