[NOTE: This blog post is an edited version of Children’s Digital Culture]
Children’s gaming is a fast-paced and growing industry that aims to do more than just entertain. Educational games are created to help children build necessary skills beyond the classroom environment. While there are many that argue that these games are harmful to education there are those that believe this technology is allowing children to develop and learn more than ever before.
My aim for the DIGC310 assignment is to create a pitch for a digital educational game, which aims to teach children about health and nutrition. I have chosen to create a pitch rather than an actual digital game, as I don’t think I have to skills to do so. However, I hope to incorporate visual aspects of the game such as videos or images into the presentation.
This assignment will be complemented by the research project I am completing for DIGC335. For this project, I will be aiming to investigate educational games and the role of digital technology in children’s digital culture. This includes the growth and development of these games, as well as the effects on children and education. The pitch for the digital game will be the case study for my research.
I am beginning this research by looking at popular educational games used by kids today. Mathletics for example, is an online game that aims to develop the maths skills of children in both primary and secondary school. The game is played all over that world and allows children from different countries compete against each other in maths games. These games and activities are based on outcomes and requirements of relevant curriculums and players are given rewards, points and incentives to encourage participation.
‘You do the math’: Mathletics and the play of online learning is an article, which analyses research conducted by the University of Melbourne on Mathletics. “The findings are drawn from a study of children’s technology use and offers insights into the developing possibilities and challenges emerging through the adoption of Web 2.0 applications for learning and education” (Nansen, et al. 2012, p. 1231). The article concludes that while it can be argued that the design, governance and ownership of such software can shape children’s context and relations of learning, the study showed positive outcomes for children who played the game as its variability caters for teachers, parents and children and the game complements classroom learning.
Basing my ideas off similar research on education games, I am hoping to create a game based on the concept of the food pyramid that will give children information on each food group that is part of a healthy diet. I will discuss the specifics of this concept and the functioning of the game in my next blog post.
Nansen, B., Chakraborty, K., Gibbs, L., Vetere, F. and MacDougall, C., 2012. ‘You do the math’: Mathletics and the play of online learning, New Media & Society, vol. 14, no. 7, pp.1216-1235.