Digital Graphics EDLD 5366

“There is skepticism in the educational community regarding the applicability of gaming to education. Games have been shown, in numerous studies and in homes across America, to both excite and motivate students. What impact does this have on the education community? As with any technology integration, the integration of games and simulations affects how curriculum is delivered in the classroom. How would you assist your co-workers unpack the potential of educational gaming? What questions would you ask when evaluating an educational game prior to using it in the classroom?”

In the realm of education, the current emphasis is “data-driven decision making.” These days, it seems like you can’t do anything unless there is a mountain of data to back it up. (This, of course, proves to be a problem if you actually want to do something new.) Naturally, the reverse is true: you can justify nearly anything if you have the data to back it up. At this stage of the game, there is quite a significant amount of research and data now. I get the opportunity, almost daily, of talking with other educators about why it is that students just want to play games online. I hear all the time “all they wanna do is chat and play games.” Yup. There is something inherently “sticky” about games, even in a culture that can’t seem to pay attention to anything for more than 5 seconds. My question to them: What if the games they were playing were reinforcing learning? What if the game’s objectives were aligned with classroom objectives? What if the game was engaging them in higher order thinking skills? Would they be valuable then? (Incidentally, the rationale I use to justify gaming to other educators would mirror my selection criteria for in-classroom games.)

Week 4 Digital Newsletter


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