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TechGURLS: Egaming and Teenage Girls Presented by Lesley Farmer

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1 TechGURLS: Egaming and Teenage Girls Presented by Lesley Farmer lfarmer@csulb.edu www.csulb.edu/~lfarmer

2 Whats the Situation? Are girls interested in egaming? YES! About 67% of 9-12 year old girls do and over 90% of 13-17 year old girls use technologyYES! About 67% of 9-12 year old girls do and over 90% of 13-17 year old girls use technology 40% of girl game daily40% of girl game daily 6% of preteen and 4 % of teen girls make up game audience6% of preteen and 4 % of teen girls make up game audience Girls spend less time (household priorities)Girls spend less time (household priorities)

3 Egame Mastery and Gender Girls master individually vs. boys learning from each other (because of societal messages)Girls master individually vs. boys learning from each other (because of societal messages) Girls ask boys for adviceGirls ask boys for advice Girls tend not to use manualsGirls tend not to use manuals Girls tend to reset level or gameGirls tend to reset level or game Girls may walk away from controls/navigationGirls may walk away from controls/navigation Expert gamers are gender-neutralExpert gamers are gender-neutral

4 Whats the Problem?? Girls dont like the computer culture: They dont like the nature of most computer gamesThey dont like the nature of most computer games They dislike stereotypical female charactersThey dislike stereotypical female characters They see few female role modelsThey see few female role models And their attitude becomes more problematic when they hit adolescence because of social issues…And their attitude becomes more problematic when they hit adolescence because of social issues… … by the way, did you know that parents are more likely to buy computers for boys than girls?… by the way, did you know that parents are more likely to buy computers for boys than girls?

5 What Happens in Schools? Technology-enhanced projects are gender-neutral or more male oriented.Technology-enhanced projects are gender-neutral or more male oriented. Girls are discouraged from taking advanced tech courses.Girls are discouraged from taking advanced tech courses. Girls lack info about the impact of technology on salaries and promotions.Girls lack info about the impact of technology on salaries and promotions. Girls tend to classify all tech jobs as masculine.Girls tend to classify all tech jobs as masculine. Schools tend to dis egames.Schools tend to dis egames.

6 The World of Gaming Nature of the game, its characters, its story lineNature of the game, its characters, its story line Graphic features Graphic features Interactivity Interactivity Openness Openness Context Context Incorporation into education Incorporation into education Scaffolding Scaffolding Personalized textual feedback Personalized textual feedback

7 Benefits of Egaming use of fixed, equitable rulesuse of fixed, equitable rules clear roles and expectationsclear roles and expectations internally-consistent environment where everything is possibleinternally-consistent environment where everything is possible clear goals within a rich context that gives goals personal meaning and relevanceclear goals within a rich context that gives goals personal meaning and relevance opportunities to explore identitiesopportunities to explore identities cognitive and affective engagementcognitive and affective engagement multiple ways to achieve goals through constructivist strategiesmultiple ways to achieve goals through constructivist strategies specific, timely feedbackspecific, timely feedback sense of control and personal investmentsense of control and personal investment situated learningsituated learning sense of reward for effort, including trial and errorsense of reward for effort, including trial and error structured interaction between players, and between players and the gamestructured interaction between players, and between players and the game blend of cooperation and competitionblend of cooperation and competition

8 Tips to Engage Girls with Egames Provide choiceProvide choice Get the girls input – and act on itGet the girls input – and act on it Make it social: encourage buddy learningMake it social: encourage buddy learning Focus on communication – and human relationshipsFocus on communication – and human relationships Encourage intellectual risk-takingEncourage intellectual risk-taking Emphasize effort more than masteryEmphasize effort more than mastery Have fun!Have fun!

9 School Conditions for Engagement Broad-based vision and missionBroad-based vision and mission Positive and open community-based school culturePositive and open community-based school culture Cohesive, interdependent curriculumCohesive, interdependent curriculum Strong repertoire of instructional/learning strategiesStrong repertoire of instructional/learning strategies Sufficient resourcesSufficient resources System infrastructure and supportSystem infrastructure and support

10 Criteria for Choosing Egames confidence: encourage and support girls abilitiesconfidence: encourage and support girls abilities collaboration: facilitate working togethercollaboration: facilitate working together personal identification: relate to personal lifepersonal identification: relate to personal life contextuality: present information in narrative or story formcontextuality: present information in narrative or story form flexibility/motility: offer several navigational pathsflexibility/motility: offer several navigational paths social connectivity: facilitate interpersonal connectionssocial connectivity: facilitate interpersonal connections inclusion: portray diverse populationsinclusion: portray diverse populations multimedia presence: meld high-quality graphic, motion and audio elementsmultimedia presence: meld high-quality graphic, motion and audio elements

11 Library Portals and Egaming add game-related displays that include game art, game-related fiction, and information about careers in gamingadd game-related displays that include game art, game-related fiction, and information about careers in gaming link to gaming magazines and strategy guideslink to gaming magazines and strategy guides publicize gaming events and resourcespublicize gaming events and resources add student-created content, such as game reviewsadd student-created content, such as game reviews

12 Instruction and Egaming Principles provide student choice (which topic to study)provide student choice (which topic to study) offer opportunities for low-pressure situationsoffer opportunities for low-pressure situations emphasize the importance of memorizing and mastering basics of a concept before applying the knowledgeemphasize the importance of memorizing and mastering basics of a concept before applying the knowledge Facilitate collaborative workFacilitate collaborative work provide extra help for struggling studentsprovide extra help for struggling students provide extension activities for students who excelprovide extension activities for students who excel evaluate effort rather than productevaluate effort rather than product use alternative and authentic assessments – designing demo games, tests based on mastery levels (not everyone takes the same tests)use alternative and authentic assessments – designing demo games, tests based on mastery levels (not everyone takes the same tests)

13 Egaming and Information Literacy just-in-time verbal or textual feedback when the learner wants itjust-in-time verbal or textual feedback when the learner wants it affirmation of effort as it leads to performance and competenceaffirmation of effort as it leads to performance and competence incorporation of the affective domain, particularly as it relates to personal prioritiesincorporation of the affective domain, particularly as it relates to personal priorities consideration of systems and relationships as they impact information analysis and useconsideration of systems and relationships as they impact information analysis and use emphasis on distributed knowledge and cross-functional information-seeking teamsemphasis on distributed knowledge and cross-functional information-seeking teams acknowledgement and leveraging of multiple perspectivesacknowledgement and leveraging of multiple perspectives empathy of complex information systemsempathy of complex information systems

14 What Can Adults Do? Have girls bookmark egames when they use the Internet – make them easy to find!Have girls bookmark egames when they use the Internet – make them easy to find! Include these site on web portalsInclude these site on web portals Link to projects that support girls career explorationLink to projects that support girls career exploration Alert the school community about these egamesAlert the school community about these egames Plan activities that use these egamesPlan activities that use these egames

15 References Agosto, D. (2004). Girls and gaming: A summary of the research with implications for practice. Teacher Librarian, 31(3), 8-14.. American Association of University Women. (2000). Tech-savvy: Education girls in the new computer age. Washington, DC: American Association of University Women. Amory, Alan, et al (1999). The use of computer games as an educational tool.. British Journal of Educational Technology, 30, 311- 321. Becker, K. (2007) Digital game-based learning once removed.. British Journal of Educational Technology, 38, 479-488. Cassell, J., & Jenkins, H. (Eds). (1998). From Barbie to Mortal Kombat. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. Cooper, J., & Weaver, K. (2003). Gender and computers: Understanding the digital divide. Nawah, NJ: Erlbaum. DeKanter, N. (2005). Gaming redefines interactivity for learning. TechTrends, 49(3), 26-31. Fromme, J. (2003). Computer games as a part of children's culture. Game Studies, 3(1). http://www.gamestudies.org/0301/fromme/ Gee, James. (2007). What video games have to teacher us about learning and literacy (2nd ed.). Palgrave, England: Macmillan. Graner Ray, S. (2004). Gender inclusive game design: Expanding the market.. Hingham, Eng.: Charles River Media. Helmrich, E., & Neiburger, E. (2007). Video games as a service: Three years later. VOYA, 30(2) 113-115. Jenkins, H. (2008). Reality bytes: Eight myths about video games debunked. The Video Game Revolution. Jones, S. (2003). Let the games begin. Washington, DC: Pew Internet & American Life Project. Kaiser Family Fntn.. (2005). Generation M: Media in the lives of eight to eighteen year olds. Menlo Park, CA: Author. Koster, R.(2004). A theory of fun for game design. Phoenix, AZ: Peralglygh. Levine, J. (2006). Gaming and libraries. Library Technology Reports, 42(5). Macgill, A. (2007). Parent and teen Internet use. Washington, DC: Pew Internet & American Life Project. McFerrin,E., et al. (Eds.). Proceedings of Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference 2008 pp. 991- 996). Chesapeake, VA: American Association of Computer Education. Neiburger, E. (2007). Gamers...in the library?! Chicago: American Library Association. Nicholson, S. (2007). The role of gaming in libraries: Taking the pulse. http://boardgameswithscott.com/pulse2007.pdf Prensky, M. (2006). Dont bother me mom – Im learning! St. Paul, MN: Paragon House. Schott, G., & Horrell, Kirsty. (2000). Girl games and their relationship with the gaming culture. Convergence, 6(4), 36-53. Simpson, E. (2005). Evolution in the classroom: what teachers need to know about the video game generation. TechTrends, 49(5), 17-22.


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