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Cracking the Code of Electronic Games: Some Lessons for Educators

The article describes three ways in which students’ ready engagement in, and quick learning when playing, electronic games have been assumed to provide useful guidance to educators, are considering and provides a very useful set of reflections about the use of games in education for teachers who are considering it. The article that provides a description of an range of attempts to derive educational principles from the perceived success of students’ learning while they are engaged in electronic games, a meta-analytic organization of these attempts into three general categories, and an evaluation of each of these categories’ success in contributing to education or failure to do so. According to the authors the three main approaches to understanding the connection between gaming and education have included, first, seeing games as teaching desirable learning skills through the simple act of playing; second, a focus on the integration of curriculum content into games; and, third, an effort to abstract learning principles embedded in electronic games and applying these to educational content. Close examination of each of these three approaches in turn leads to the conclusion that the third approach is the one that holds the greatest potential value for educational practice.

Alexander, G., Eaton, I. & Kieran Egan, K. (2010) Cracking the Code of Electronic Games: Some Lessons for Educators Teachers College Record Volume 112 Number 7, 2010, p. 1830-1850

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