Digital Game-Based Learning Lab

Director: Joan M. Mazur, Curriculum and Instruction

Co-Directors: Brent Seales, Computer Science, Gerry Swan, Curriculum and Instruction

Practitioner Co-Director: Dexter Knight, Principal, Jessamine Career & Technology Center, Nicholasville, KY

The DGBL P-20 Lab integrates core elements of play and gaming with instructional media to provide educators in the P-20 community with relevant and classroom-tested instructional gaming materials and research related to: (1) the various kinds of tools available online including Web 2.0 tools, Massive Multi-User Online Games [MMOGs], Visualization Techniques and Augmented Virtual Reality (AVG), (2) how students use games to problem solve and learn , (3) new roles for teachers and students and, (4) how to combine computer games and learning. A network of school-based research sites will be developed to research and disseminate innovative and effective DGBL practices.

Why Learning with Games?

Perhaps since the beginning of time, kids have been playing and learning. Starting with some very basic social games, like Ring Around the Rosey most children naturally gravitate toward play and playfulness. Playing, like learning are part of being human!

But games have changed over the years. Kids just a few years ago were still playing games like Candyland, Monopoly, and Shutes and Ladders on actual game boards. But today, kids are Digital Natives. They have grown up with technology and it is integral to their lives. Students, aged 8-18 devote an nearly 8 hours each day to using entertainment media across a typical day (more than 53 hours a week). Moreover, because they spend so much of that time ‘media multitasking’ (using more than one medium at a time), they actually manage to pack a total of 10 hours and 45 minutes (10:45) worth of media content into those 7½ hours.

While this information may be startling, even disturbing to some, many games involve teamwork, problem solving and creative thinking! Kids learn with games not because they are fun and entertaining. Kids learn with games because they are interactive, engaging, build in feedback and assessment, contain proven instructional strategies and importantly build 21st Century Skills. 21st Century skills include teamwork, self-direction, problem solving, creativity, decision-making and critical thinking.

The DGBL P-20 Innovation Lab at the UK College of Education is committed to assisting teachers, parents and students to learn to use and choose digital games that can help students learn content and succeed at the game of life!

Newsletter September 2010



Updated by on July 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm

College of Education University of Kentucky College of Education