Gaming Geography: Educational Games and Literacy Development in the Grade 4 ClassroomReport as inadecuate

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Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, v35 n3 Fall 2009

This paper outlines a case study conducted in two public schools in the greater Toronto area as a complementary component of a multisite experimental study exploring educational game development as a learning activity for motivating and engaging students in curriculum-related literacy activities (Owston et al., 2007). Researchers studied children creating and playing four online board games based on grade 4 geography content, viz., "Tic-tac-toe," "Trivial Pursuit," "Snakes and Ladders," and "Mother Goose." The schools shared similar positive orientations to technologically focused learning and good technological resources, but they had different institutional histories of implementing computers in curricular learning. Technological equipment was approached, accessed and utilized quite differently in each class, affecting pedagogical practices and learning experiences. Though improvements to traditional literacy learning were found to be limited to improved logical sentence structure (Owston et al., 2007), game development did allow students to build digital literacy skills, including computer literacy and typing skills. Moreover, the project enabled participating teachers to think about profitably incorporating online board game production in broad-based curricular learning. (Contains 6 figures and 3 notes.)

Descriptors: Educational Games, Sentence Structure, Geography, Grade 4, Literacy, Computer Literacy, Teaching Methods, Public Schools, Case Studies, Foreign Countries, Models

Canadian Network for Innovation in Education. 260 Dalhousie Street Suite 204, Ottawa, ON K1N 7E4, Canada. Tel: 613-241-0018; Fax: 613-241-0019; e-mail: cnie-rcie[at]; Web site:

Author: Lotherington, Heather; Ronda, Natalia Sinitskaya


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