Here are a few of our favorite resources for anyone looking to learn more about the power of games to engage and their potential as learning tools.
Children’s Motivations for Video Game Play in the Context of Normal DevelopmentVol. 14, No. 2, 2010 , Review of General Psychology , American Psychological Association
Drawing on a survey of 1,254 middle school children, focus groups with boys and their parents and findings from other qualitative and quantitative research, this paper explores the motivations underlying video game play in childhood and adolescence and how they are affected by factors such as mood, environment, personality and developmental stage. The paper includes suggestions for parents, educators and researchers.
Choice-Based Assessments for the Digital Age2009 , Stanford University School of Education
This paper argues that assessment strategies focusing primarily on how much knowledge students retain fail to capture the extent to which students are prepared to act autonomously in the world, or to make good choices, a fundamental goal of education. It goes on to argue that choice, rather than knowledge, should inform assessment strategies, and that digital technologies make this possible.
The Digital Promise: Transforming Learning with Innovative Uses of Technology2009 , The Joan Ganz Cooney Center
This paper describes how investment in technology tools, network access, professional development, and new personalized curricula can support schools in addressing each of the four reform goals of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as well as in meeting the needs of 21st-century learners. Innovative examples of how technology can be used to promote literacy and engage struggling learners are offered, along with related resources.
Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds2010 , Kaiser Family Foundation
This report is the third in an ongoing series, based on large-scale nationally representative surveys of young people’s media use habits. Topics explored include mobile media, parents and media rules, media in the home, media and educational outcomes and demographical trends in media usage.
Good Video Games and Good LearningVol. 85, No.2, 2005 , Phi Kappa Phi Forum
This essay–adapted from Gee’s 2007 book of the same title–briefly examines the sixteen key learning principles that good video games incorporate. Gee also argues that the learning implicit in good video games is what makes them motivating and entertaining.
Hanging Out, Messing Around and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media2009 , MIT Press
The outcome of an three-year ethnographic investigation into the media practices of young people in a variety of everyday contexts, this series of twenty-three case studies sheds light on how young people are living and learning with new media today.
Moving Learning Games Forward2009 , The Education Arcade
This paper addresses basic questions around the use of learning games at home and in institutional settings. The paper presents a snapshot of the rapidly growing commercial games market and establishes principles and best practices for moving the field forward in a positive direction.
Teens, Video Games and Civics2008 , Pew Internet & American Life Project
This report details findings from the first large-scale nationally representative study of teen video game play as it relates to civic engagement. The survey looks at which teens are playing games, the games and equipment they’re using, the social context of their play, the role of parents and parental monitoring and how these factors impact teens’ civic activities and commitments.
The Ecology of Games. Connecting Youth, Games and Learning2007 , MIT Press
This collection of essays examines games as complex, dynamic systems in which more and more young people participate as gamers, producers and learners. Each essay explores one or more elements in the complex ecology of social organization, interaction, practice, participation and content production that arises around gaming, game design and play.
Towards New Learning Networks2006 , Futurelab
This paper challenges a number of fundamental assumptions which have historically underpinned the organization of education, like the assumption that “learning” and “schooling” are different words for the same thing. The authors argue that we need to move away from the institutional logic of “school as factory” toward a network logic of a distributed community of fully engaged learners, capable of seeking out resources to satisfy their own particular needs, interests and aspirations.
Video Games and the Future of LearningVol. 87, No. 02, 2005 , Phi Delta Kappan
This article introduces an approach to the design of learning environments that builds on the educational properties of games, while grounding them in a theory of learning appropriate to today’s digital age. The article argues that video games will transform education, and therefore we must ask ourselves: who will create the games of the future? And will they be based on sound theories of learning and socially conscious educational practices?