Week 9: Learning Pack E: Texts, Literacy’s and New Media:
( Welcome to the Librarians guide to gaming by Gallaway, 2013) (Standard YouTube Licence)
“Today Literacy is more than just reading and writing. 21 Century literacy is digital information communication technology as well as media, programming and visual.”(Gallaway, 2013)
After watching Youtube clip Beth Gallaway (2012) “Welcome to a Librarians guide to gaming”. I was inspired to see how I might include and provide gaming in my lessons.
Games can be both educational and recreational. Studies show that 97% of kids play video games (Mick, 2008). As evidenced from this, gaming is a popular trend with children these days. Schools and libraries have banned gaming given the view that it wastes time and students do not learn anything.
Today, Literacy is more than just reading and writing. 21 Century literacy is digital information, communication technology as well as media, programming and visual (Gallaway, 2013). As teachers we should promote and help develop skills that children will take into future jobs. “21st Century Literacy is the ability to use a range of tools and skills (technological, interpersonal, communication) to effectively participate in the workforce. It includes print, visual, media, multimodal, scientific and many other types and modes of literacy” (ALA, 2013). Therefore, literacy and gaming are interlinked. “If you can’t read, you can’t play as games come with instructions, menus, and more. Learning the language and mechanics of any game, from chess to Little Big Planet, involves acquiring a new vocabulary” (ALA, 2013). After listening to Gallaway and reading the blog “Libraries, Literacy and Gaming”, I have decided to look into the benefits of utilising games within schools and education.
Play is an essential part of children’s growth and children need to play and to explore new and exciting things (Ginsburg, 2007). While gaming is an attractive element of playing, children learn a lot of skills through playing. For example, preschool children love playing traditional board games like Candy Land and Snakes and Ladders. These games teach children to take turns and cooperate while developing early literacy skills. Memory, matching boards and computer games help preschoolers move from spoken language to print (Lipschultz, 2013).
Reasons to use gaming in schools:
McCalrty (2012) provides the following reasons for gaming to be included within the school context:
a) games are built on sound learning principles
b) provides engagement for the learner
c) provides personalised learning opportunities
d) teaches 21st century learning skills
e) provides an environment for authentic and relevant assessment
Squire (as cited in Gros, 2005) states that videogames create experiences whereby learners are immersed in situations in which with tools and resources they solve complex problems. Levy and Murnane; (2004, p.131) also believes that by using games in education children will excel in communication and will have extensive problem solving skills.
Education should be about personalizing each learning experience and catering for the needs all of our students. This can be challenging and difficult in the classroom however. What gaming provides is personalised learning opportunities for children. Strengths and weaknesses of students can be inferred based on players’ actions during the game (McClarty, 2012). Games can also be adapted to meet the needs of students. Appropriate scaffolding can be provided in games through the use of levels (McClarty, 2012) for example lowering the navigational maps can lower a players cognitive load while playing the game (O’Neil, 2005, p. 19)
Gros (2005) also provides a number of reasons for using gaming in education:
a) increases ability to read images, pictures and diagrams
b) enhances spatial skills
c) provides opportunities for pariciaptns to keep track of many simultaneous things at the same time
d) encourages collaboration
e) opporunities for problem solving
f) provides higher order thinking
g) paricipant acquires knowledge
h) demands the participant to draw conclusions
Gros (2005) states that in recent years there have been a number of studies about the use of computers in schools intended to explore whether games can have a role in supporting educational goals. In fact the benefits as stated above support the use of videogames in learning. The below table by McFarlane as cited in (Gros, 2005, p.10) shows areas in school where video games can contribute.
(Contribution of videogames in learning: Gros, 2005, p.10)
Teachers Role in Gaming:
The responsibility lies with us the teachers to promote and use gaming in our classrooms for educational and recreational use. However, most of us are too reluctant to use it because of uncertainty around how to use it. We may feel insecure and require support during the process (Gros, 2005). Therefore there needs to be support within the school itself to help with implementing games into the curriculum. Gros (2005) mentions that most teachers believe that gaming would support a wide range of strategies that can be very important for learning. On Gallaway’s website, she suggests ways of advocating gaming implementation in classrooms:
(Libraries, Literacy and Gaming by ALA, 2013)
ALA (2013), website “Libraries literacy and gaming” is a very valuable tool for us to implement gaming in our classrooms. Not only this it also show us how to advocate, checklists about gaming readiness, how gaming relates to different subjects and assessing games. Let us try and use these resources in our classrooms to help develop critical skills in our students that they will need in the future. It might be challenging for those of us who don’t play video games, but I am personally up for a challenge, how about you?
I am game if you are. Game On!
ALA, (2013). Library, Litearcy and Gaming. http://www.librarygamingtoolkit.org/literacy.html
Gallaway, B. (2013). Welcome to the librarian’s guide to gaming!. [image online] Retreived from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1NHI-Z9j4g [Accessed: 20Oct 2013].
Gee, J. P. (2005). Good video games and good learning. Phi Kappa Phi Forum, 85(2), 33–37
Ginsburg, K. R. (2007). The importance of play in promoting healthy child development and maintaining strong parent-child bonds. Pediatrics, 119, 182–191
Gros, B (2007). Digital Games In Education: The Design of games- based learning environments. Journal of Reserach on Technology in eduation 40(1), 23-38 http://www.mrgibbs.com/tu/research/articles/gros_Game_design.pdf
Levy, F & Murnanae, Rj (2004). The new division of labor: How computers are create the next job market. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Universtiy Press.
Lipshultz, Dale. (2013). Librarys, Literacy and Gaming. ALA
McClarty, K; Orr, A.; Frey, P.; Dolan, R.; Vasseileva, V.; and McVay, A. (2012, June) Gameing in education. http://www.pearsonassessments.com/hai/Images/tmrs/Lit_Review_of_Gaming_in_Education.pdf
Mick, Jason. (2008), Software. http://www.dailytech.com/Study+Shows+97+Percent+of+Kids+Play+Video+Games/article12985.htm
O’Neil, HF. Wainess, R. & Baker, E.L. (2005). Classification of Learning outcomes: evidence form the computer games literature. The Curriculum journal, 16(4), 455-474.