Here are some great references (and descriptions) about educational gaming.
Couse, L. J., & Chen, D. W. (2010). A tablet computer for young children? Exploring itsviability for early childhood education. Journal Of Research On Technology In Education, 43(1), 75-98.
The two authors investigated the practicability of having tablet computers in early education classrooms. This was done by investigating children’s comfort in adapting to the tablets and its effectiveness in engaging them to draw. The authors were able to gather both quantitative and qualitative data to assess the practicality of a tablet computer as a learning tool. They were also able to examine individual interactions with the computer both during and after instruction. The findings in this article were that the students became more comfortable with the tablet as each class progressed. Teachers reported that there was a high interest and that the drawings were above expectations. The authors also noted that the children quickly developed ease with the stylus for drawing. This article helps attest that tablets do have their place in the classroom and that the technology fits within early education. This fits well within my research that new technologies fit within early education and that young students will be able to adopt to these new learning technologies.
Huffstetter, M., King, J. R., Onwuegbuzie, A. J., Schneider, J. J., & Powell-Smith, K. A. (2010). Effects of a computer-based early reading program on the early reading and oral language skills of at-risk preschool children. Journal Of Education For Students Placed At Risk, 15(4), 279-298. doi:10.1080/10824669.2010.532415
In this article, the authors were attempting to determine whether a computer-based program could be a successful means for increasing the oral language and early reading skills of children. The children were split into two groups; a control group and an experimental group. In the latter group, children were receiving help with their reading and oral skills by a teacher, as well as a computer program. The results from this study suggested that computer-based programs can be effective in increasing the early reading and oral language skills of preschool children. The authors concluded that children had substantial gains in both oral language and reading skills after using the computer software. The authors also argued that since teachers face multiple demands that it is important that computer aided programs exist as long as they do not lower the quality of education. For my research, this study helps signify what I am attempting to show and that is that new technologies (including software) can be an asset in the classroom to help aid teachers.
Paras, B., Bizzocchi, J., (2005). Game, motivation and effective learning: an integrated model for education game design. Proceedings of DiGRA 2005 Conference: Changing Views – Worlds in Play. Retrieved from: www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/singapore07/procs/whitton.pdf
The authors in this article take a critical approach to education games and question whether or not they do in fact increase motivation for older students. To test this theory, a series of in-depth interviews were carried out to explore students’ perceptions of game-playing for leisure and study. These interviews were then followed by a survey which examined the students’ motivations to play games and to learn with games. The study found that students are not motivated more by video games but their perceptions towards video games are positive. It should be noted that the participants in this study were between 20 and 30 and 60 and older. For my research, I would be focusing on young children and I think motivation would be a factor. However, what I take from this study is that older people (who would not be playing educational games) have positive attitudes towards this new technology and that would make my research acceptable to parents of the young learners.
Prensky, M. (2001). Digital game-based learning. New York; London: McGraw-Hill.
The author in his book describes what games are digital media are. He explains that games are being used for children, hospitals and even the military. As research in the educational and digital media fields continue, educational games will come to the forefront and be more accepted into the field of education. The author continues describing how technology has changed over the past few years but education and learning techniques have stayed the same over many decades. The book then details why this is and why educational video games can change the way that students learn. At the end of the book in the final chapter, the author states that more research is needed because this is a young field. This bodes well for my research because I hope to fill in the gaps in this young field and bring new research to the forefront.
Tsung-Yen, C., & Wei-Fan, C. (2009). Effect of computer-based video games on children: an experimental study. Journal Of Educational Technology & Society, 12(2), 1-10.
The authors executed an experimental study investigating whether computer-based video games facilitate children’s cognitive learning. This study explored the impact of the varied types of instructional delivery strategies on children’s learning achievement. For this study, there were two groups (video games learning and text-based learning) so that a comparison can be made with the results. The findings were concluded that playing computer-based video games was more effective in facilitating third-graders’ average learning outcome than text-based computer-assisted instruction. The authors ended their paper by stating that future research needs to be done to further test the impact of computer-based video games on different children’s learning achievements. These achievements can be facts, concepts, comprehension, problem-solving, or critical-thinking skills. I hope to add to this field with my research and knowing that computer based games make a difference in children’s learning achievements helps immensely.