Week #13

Steinkuehler, C. (2010). Video games and digital literacies. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy. doi:10.1598/JAAL.54.1.7


In her 2010 journal article,entitled Video Games and digital literacies, Dr.Steinkuehler makes the case for video games as a form of digital literacy,  explains the ingrained and symbiotic value of the narrative which runs behind many games, the body of work and high amount of energy which many “gamers” channel into learning about and or teach other about the gaming world and also goes on to identify a sort of gender divide between adolescents where some adolescent boys who excel at video games and because of gaming’s bad reputation as being low value  may mistakenly categorized as having low ability in the standard curriculum when rather it a low interest in the curriculum.

Dr. Steinkuehler article addresses a very charged discussion point and research question and educational issue concerning video games and their place if any in the contemporary k-12 educational system. Unfortunately her discourse on the subject is very brief and the journal article only profiles a single subject’s reported experience where most notably on the standard curriculum he read 3 level  grade levels below his grade and on the subject of games he was interested in he was 4 levels above his peers. While the difference in ability is shocking and a fascination subject for further investigation, her journal article does not address the core issue of why the difference had occured, or what might be done about it. These are the tough and rigorous questions and Dr. Chris Dede’s 2011 framework entitled, “Research Agenda for Educational Games and Simulations” proposes an approach for addressing the research problem. He proposes that  by marshaling resources in an organized fashion and in a five part approach, building 1.)usable knowledge; 2.) performing collective  research 3.) determining what works 4.)determining when it works  and 5.)determining for whom it works real solutions are possible. If a frame work like this one is effective then solutions that engage students who are intelligent but for one reason or another are not adequately focused may be possible.

This journal article is of extremely high importance to DET scholars and the academy as a whole because games continue to play be important t0 adolescent boys (perhaps children generally) and understanding that some students have high ability and low interest in the traditional curriculum may mean it is time to reconsider what is traditional and how to still effectively measure ability without immediately and universally equating a lack of interest in a subject as a lack of ability to do any similar work, or any work of high quality.


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