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Gaming as an Instructional Strategy for 21 st Century Skills. Joe R. Busby, Davison Mupinga & Pamela Page-Carpenter. Background. Millennium Kids, Digital Generation, i-kids Approx. 145 m video game players Approx. 51M of 53M K-12 students play v/games

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Gaming as an instructional strategy for 21 st century skills

Gaming as an Instructional Strategy for 21st Century Skills

Joe R. Busby, Davison Mupinga & Pamela Page-Carpenter


  • Millennium Kids, Digital Generation, i-kids

    • Approx. 145 m video game players

    • Approx. 51M of 53M K-12 students play v/games

  • Instructional design more learner-centered

  • Meeting students in their

Gaming & Instruction


  • The digital age students

  • Gaming & Edutainment

  • Common ed. games used?

  • What’s the appeal?

    • Competencies & Skills developed

  • Gaming Resources

Gaming & Instruction

The digital age students
The Digital Age Students

  • Today’s students & their environment

  • Expectations of fast paced electronic world

  • Video games as a way of life

  • Gaming as an instructional strategy?

Gaming & Instruction

Gaming edutainment
Gaming & Edutainment

  • Immersive virtual environments where game players can interact with objects & visualizations that entertain while providing learning opportunities

  • Educational content poured into games

    • Expecting players to be motivated to learn

Gaming & Instruction

Common regular games
Common Regular Games

Gaming & Instruction

The Perceptive Eye/Ear Game

Most TV games


Wheel of Fortune

Who Wants an Education?’

Day @ the Beach

Tic Tac Toe


Deal or No Deal


Hot Potato

Around the World


Hollywood Squares.

Not so common games
Not so Common Games ?

  • Collaborative Drawing

  • Instructor versus Artists

  • Plus Math online worksheets

  • Daily living interactive games

  • Social Cars

  • Safety Signs

  • Chickens.

Gaming & Instruction

What s the appeal
What’s the Appeal? of?

  • Students control game environment

  • Pretend to be someone else through game character

  • Interact with people all over the world

  • Instant gratification & feedback

  • Fun from the adrenaline rush

Furthermore students can
Furthermore…students can of?

  • Comprehend complex story lines & tracks inter-personal interactions with other players

  • Learn social norms & rules beyond those of your physical community

  • Builds self-esteem as their skill level increases

Competencies skill developed
Competencies & Skill Developed of?

Skills Required in Gaming

  • fast decision making & hand-eye coordination

  • Independent or playing with others

    Gaming & 21st Century Skills

  • Reading/literacy

  • Logical thinking & Decision making

  • Observation (visual skills)

  • Map-making & reading skills

  • Problem solving &collaboration

  • Strategy planning

Gaming & Instruction

Other uses in education

Elsewhere: of?

Inspired by Wii, professors create a virtual dance space


‘Wii’ bit of technology aids medical education


Video Game in Mechanical Engineering Education


Teaching math disguised as video game


Other Uses in Education:

Gaming & Instruction

Extent of gaming in education
Extent of Gaming in Education of?

No Gamer Left Behind

Gaming & Instruction

Gaming trends
Gaming & Trends of?

Paducah Sun covers opening of Young Adult Media Bar @ McCracken County Public Library (6.19.2003)

Bloomington Library

Parent s perspective
Parent’s Perspective of?

“I am also a gamer and have a big problem with other people who say that video games are bad for children. I grew up with video games and believe that the puzzles, critical thinking skills, strategy and critical problem solving skills are essential to a young persons mind.These games not only teach the player to solve problems on their own but allow them to hone those skills and become better and faster thinkers. My daughter already at the age of 1 1/2 has a learning laptop and has been introduced to learning games.

With that said, I will leave you with this:

“I am a product of technology and video games and believe that in the future, if children are sheltered from technology they will be left behind.”

Justin Barone, 2008

Edutopia Blog

In summary gaming
In Summary…Gaming of?

  • Provides less dangerous & realistic scenarios

    • E.g., simulation

    • Use good role playing games, simulation games, or adventure games…non violent.

  • Promotes 21st century skills

    • soft skills & higher-order thinking skills

  • Makes learning fun

    • Kids said to “power down” in school?

  • Ideal for today’s students

    • Meeting them in their comfort zone

Gaming & Instruction

Resources of?


  • Beck, J.C. & Mitchell, W. (2004). Got Game : How the Gamer Generation is Reshaping Business Forever. Harvard Business School Press.

  • Cassell, J. & Henry, J. (1998). From Barbie to Mortal Kombat : Gender and Computer Games. MIT Press, 1998.

  • Gee, J.P. (2003). What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy. Palgrave McMillan.

  • Johnson, S. (2005). Everything Bad is Good for You : How Today’s Pop Culture is Making Us Smarter. Riverhead.

  • Prensky, M. (2006). Don’t Bother Me Mom—I’m Learning. Paragon House.


  • Education ArcadePartnership between MIT & University of Wisconsin Madison investigating educational games

  • Entertainment Software Association(ESA) Organization responsible for video game ratings, regulation and more

  • Game ProfessorGood collection of resources related to video game research, conferences, academic papers, etc.

  • Escapist MagazineWeekly online magazine covers industry issues and news with a personal spin

  • 40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents

Thank you let the video games begin

Thank You & let the Video Games begin of?

Joe R. Busby, Email: [email protected]

Davison Mupinga, Email: [email protected]

Pam Page-Carpenter, Email: [email protected]