The purpose of this study was to identify secondary teachers with video game-play experience and determine if perceived levels of comfort in regard to completing job-related technology tasks, amounts of instructional technology usage, and amounts of participation in innovative teaching strategies are affected by experience or lack of experience with video games. Although significant differences were not found between teachers identified as gamers and those identified as non-gamers, researchers may choose to investigate specific areas where mean differences were found. For example, gamers were more comfortable using presentation software for demonstrating concepts in class, communicating electronically with colleagues and students, using the Internet for instructional purposes, and presenting information using various delivery modes. In comparison to gamers, non-gamers indicated a tendency to communicate electronically with parents more often, encourage students to use electronic tutorials outside of class more often, and allow students to use word processors to complete assignments more frequently. This study can be used as a reference point for future research into teachers and video game-play in regard to teaching practices and job-related tasks.
Computer games and video games are two terms that are often used synonymously to describe games played on personal computers, handheld systems, consoles, or arcade machines (Wikipedia, 2005). A game is a form of art that requires decision making, opposition, the management of resources, the attainment of tokens, and a sufficient amount of information. Games are often strengthened by diplomacy, simulation, variety, character identification, role-playing, and socialization (Costikyan, 1994).Games are complete systems with explicit rules, with fantasy playing a major role in various situations (Crawford, 1982). Gee described a game as a world in a box allowing a player to create an identity they really want and the ability to gain experiences that were not available before (cited in Foreman, 2004).
Key Terms in this Chapter
Blog: Short for Weblog; considered to be an online personal diary/journal that may be updated easily and quickly online.
Teacher Gamer: A teacher is considered to have video game-play experience if he or she has enjoyed playing video games weekly as a hobby anytime in the past or present.
Schema: A mental object, structure, or organizational pattern created by an individual to aid in future understanding.
Innovative Teaching: Demonstrating characteristics that include, but is not limited to, creativity, possessing problem-solving skills, having good social skills, using technology, and having a desire to succeed in teaching and learning.
Instructional Technology: Any type of technology implementation based on learning theories and that takes a systems approach to helping individuals solve problems.
Podcasting: The delivery of digital content over the Internet available for playback on a personal computer or portable media player.
Video Games: The terms ‘computer games’ and ‘video games’ were used interchangeably throughout this study. These games often require problem solving, teamwork, opposition, and character identification in order to attain a goal. These types of games are played on computers, consoles, arcade machines, and handheld devices.