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Journal Article

Educational Games in Practice: The challenges involved in conducting a game‑based curriculum  pp122-135

Björn Berg Marklund, Anna-Sofia Alklind Taylor

© Jan 2016 Volume 14 Issue 2, ECGBL 2015, Editor: Robin Munkvold, pp81 - 149

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Abstract

Abstract: The task of integrating games into an educational setting is a demanding one, and integrating games as a harmonious part of a bigger ecosystem of learning requires teachers to orchestrate a myriad of complex organizational resources. Historicall y, research on digital game‑based learning has focused heavily on the coupling between game designs, previously established learning principles, student engagement, and learning outcomes much to the expense of understanding how games function in their int ended educational contexts and how they impact the working processes of teachers. Given the significant investments of time and resources teachers need to make in order to conduct game‑based learning activities, the foci of past research is problematic as it obfuscates some of the pressing realities that highly affect games viability as tools for teaching and learning. This paper aims to highlight the demands that the implementation and use of an educational game in formal educational settings puts on te achers working processes and skillsets. The paper is based on two case studies in which a researcher collaborated with K‑12 teachers to use MinecraftEdu (TeacherGaming LLC, 2012) as a classroom activity over a five‑month long period. By documenting bot h the working processes involved in implementing the game into the classroom environment, as well as the execution of the actual game‑based classroom activities, the studies identified a wide variety roles that a teacher needs to take on if they are to ma ke games a central part of a school curriculum. Ultimately, the paper highlights the importance of understanding the constraints under which teachers work, and argues that a better understanding of the contexts in which games are to be used, and the roles teachers play during game‑based learning scenarios, is a necessary foundation for improving games viability as educational tools.

 

Keywords: Keywords: computers in classroom, distraction, gaming literacy, student diversity, teacher roles, challenges of game-based learning

 

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Journal Article

Digital Devices in Classroom – Hesitations of Teachers‑to‑be  pp387-395

Paul Lam, Aiden Tong

© Oct 2012 Volume 10 Issue 4, ICEL 2012, Editor: Paul Lam, pp360 - 440

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Abstract

More and more teachers are facing the decision whether they should allow or promote students the use of technology in the classroom. The decision is difficult as there are apparently both advantages and disadvantages in doing either way. In terms of positive impacts, research revealed that the use of digital devices in the classroom setting was capable of facilitating faculty‑student interactions and in‑class participation, which in turn enhanced engagement and active learning (Fitch, 2004; Partee, 1996; Stephens, 2005). On the contrary, evidence was also identified to show a relationship between notebook use and distraction in class. The pilot study investigated the desirability of allowing digital devices in class in our local context, and to explore the factors that influence the success of the practice. Two studies were conducted with students in teacher‑training programmes at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. In the first study, students were allowed to use computers in the lessons (free use) in the whole semester and then they were asked to reflect upon the learning benefits, if any. In the second study, the future teachers were asked to comment openly on the use of digital devices for more guided purposes such as student response system and e‑textbook. Results in general revealed that it is indeed a very controversial and complicated issue. On the one hand, many positive learning benefits relating to using digital devices in class are acknowledged. On the other hand, distraction is a major concern as students may use the technology for irrelevant purposes in class. Participants thus were also very conservative about channeling the use of computers in classroom to other academic contexts. The answer to the question whether computers be allowed in class thus is not a simple yes or no but is a series of suggestions concerning when and how to do it more appropriate.

 

Keywords: computers in classroom, distraction

 

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