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Good Video Games and Good Learning

Collected Essays on Video Games, Learning and Literacy, 2nd Edition


James Paul Gee

Good Video Games and Good Learning presents the most important essays by James Paul Gee devoted to the ways in which good video games create good learning. The chapters in this book argue that good games teach through well-designed problem-solving experiences. They also prove that game-based learning must involve more than software and technology and engage with the design of passionate-affinity spaces where people mentor each other’s learning and engagement. In the end, the book offers a model of collaborative, interactive, and embodied learning centered on problem solving, a model that can be enhanced by games, but which can be accomplished in many different ways with or without games.


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Chapter 6: Can Technology-rich Learning Close the Digital Participation Gap?


ƒ Chapter 6 Can technology-rich Learning Close the digital participation Gap?1 Can technology-rich Learning Close the digital participation Gap? The short answer to the question this article addresses is: “No, technology-rich learning cannot close the digital participation gap.” Something else can, but that something else would require a political will missing in the United States today. What is the digital participation gap? It is a gap between the rich and the poor. It is not a gap that can be solved by equipment. While it is true that poor kids have access to less and less good technology, solving this problem will not get rid of the gap. We can see this if we look at books and the reading gap before we look at tech- nology (really, other technologies, since literacy is a technology). We have long had a reading gap. Poor kids learn to read less well than rich ones. Just giving poor kids books does not begin to close the gap. How much good giving books does—if it does any good at all—depends on what you do with the books. The same is true of computers, video games, and other forms of media and mul- timedia. It is not what you have, but what you do with what you have and whom you do it with. What makes books good for preparing for and doing well in school? Many things, of course, but two are most important. First is interactive talk of a certain sort....

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