I researched video games and social street art as new literacies for a course I was taking. At first thought these two subjects do not seem to be connected to literacy in any way. Those were my thoughts initially, however reading the literature and books surrounding video games and social street art opened my eyes to both as new literacies.
It was an interesting journey for me. I went from not believing in the educational value of non-educational video games to seeing how it can change learning in a classroom. Part of that belief comes from finding out how much is spent every year in Canada on video games and its accessories. Obviously people love playing video games and that interest should definitely be harnessed and used in classrooms across the world. Research has shown the benefits of video games in education and I think as more research becomes available on the topic people who aren’t so convinced of its value will come around.
However all the research in favour of video games in education and even teachers’ willingness doesn’t mean school boards have the money to bring these tools into the classroom. With schools lacking Internet connectivity, proper school yard equipment and music classes (to name a few challenges), bringing in a video game console into the classroom is not going to be a priority.
Perhaps finding a way to have students learn with the consoles they have at home might be a start. For example, assign homework that involves a popular video game the students already play at home. Of course, in theory this idea might sound easy enough but might be very difficult to put into practice.
The following artifact demonstrates my understanding of video games as a new literacy.