Teachers and Trainers

Media literacy and games as reflective tools

The way we communicate and share meanings in a mediated world requires a set of literacies, such as media literacy, information literacy, written and oral literacy, visual literacy, multimodal literacy, literacy for ICT and digital literacy (Drotner and Erstad, 2014; Gutiérrez & Tyner 2012). Regardless of the definitions and approaches, these multiple literacies pave the way for critical discussions in education.

There is general consensus that the promotion and improvement of media literacy for children and adults, is increasingly important in the context of the convergence of digital media and an highly complex media ecology (Livingstone, Bulguer and 2013 Zaborowski; Hobbs, 2008). Despite the familiarity of students with the Internet and other technologies, young people may or may not have the necessary skills to access, analyze and evaluate the information or online resources available (Hobbs, 2008; Livingstone & al, 2011). Frau-Meigs (2014) states that  media literacy skills and information include operational skills (like coding and computing), editorial skills (like multimedia writing-reading-production) and organizational skills (like navigation, sorting, filtering and evaluation), considered core competencies in the digital age.

Video games, especially multiplayer games, involve collaboration, competition, sharing, searching for information in chat rooms and websites (Gee, 2008), practices that lead to the development of learning communities.

In addition, studies investigating the cognitive and learning potential of games, game analysis and game design, increasingly demonstrate the power of games in promoting several literacy skills (Gee, 2007; Buckingham & Burn , 2007) and creativity (Harel Caperton & Sullivan, 2009).

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