Universidad de Alcala (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Pages: 5372-5377
ISBN: 978-84-616-0763-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 19-21 November, 2012
Location: Madrid, Spain
We analyze how commercial video games can become a relevant artifact for the development and improvement of cognitive skills by students. In real and virtual contexts children and teenagers have to develop skills that help them to be actively involved in what Jenkins (2006a) call participatory cultures. According to Jenkins (2006b), schools as institutions have to involve more consciously in this new participatory culture, because the greatest opportunity for change is currently found in afterschool programs and informal learning communities. They could do it by paying more attention to fostering new media literacies, described as a set of cultural competencies and social skills that young people need in the new media landscape.
In this paper we analyze different experiences working in collaboration with Primary and Secondary School teachers in developing innovative educational settings inside the classroom by using video games as an educational tool. In this context, we use video games to approach curricular contents and to develop cognitive skills that help students to actively reflect on the relationship between game content and contexts of everyday activity (Gee, 2008).
The data analysis was based on the ethnography (Pink, 2004; Atkinson et al., 2001) following a case study approach (Stake, 2006; Yin, 2011). From that perspective our study is based on a qualitative analytical perspective based on narrative and ethnographic approaches (Connelly & Clandinin, 2006) and includes a micro-ethnographic analysis of multimodal discourses (Gee & Green, 1998).
Our results shown that during the workshop using video games students developed new literacies by working with different media (Manovich, 2001). These new literacies involve social skills developed through collaboration and networking and based on the foundation of traditional literacy, research skills, technical skills, and critical analysis skills taught in the classroom.

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Skills, video games, literacy, learning.