Saturday, November 14, 2015

Fall 2015 Brown Bag #2 with Dr. Sigmund Tobias and Dr. J. Dexter Fletcher

For our second Brown Bag Presentation of the semester, Eminent Research Professor Dr. Tobias and Dr. Fletcher of the Institute for Defense Analyses led a discussion of their findings related to the use of digital games as a form of educational technology.

According to Dr. Tobias and Dr. Fletcher, as the use of technology has become more popular in educational settings, interest regarding the use of computer games to deliver meaningful instruction has increased.  Digital games can be very useful educational tools if they are used correctly.  Games allow students to interact with the curriculum and instruction.  Students may be more motivated to learn using a game than other forms of instruction.  Games have the ability to give students a sense of self in which they can interact with their technological environment.  Games may also be ideal for students that have learning difficulties, minority students, and students from low SES backgrounds due to the ability of games to tailor games to students' individual differences. Digital games can be used not only in schools, but also in the workplace for instructional development.  It is important to conduct cost analyses, but digital games can cut down on the cost of training and instructional development,

Games must be educational in order to be useful for an instructional purpose.  Digital game creators need to focus on what students will be learning from the game not just the technology behind the game.  In order for games to be useful and effective, they need to be highly integrated with the curriculum.