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What Aspects of Video Gaming and Other Forms of Digital Expression Appeal to Male Learners, and How Can Educators Use These Techniques and Attributes to Enhance Learning? — Lynne Weber, St. Mark's School of Texas, United States

  • Boys and Digital Literacy (2006-07)

Digital learning certainly made a difference in the boys’ level of motivation and excitement about the subjects they studied. The only drawback was our own (the teachers’ and librarians’) relatively limited knowledge of technology. We had to let the boys find their own way after we gave them the tools to do it, and they seemed to have no problem figuring out the technology. The questions we are left with are these: (1) How do we increase the instructors’ grasp of these new learning tools and (2) What is the best balance between traditional methods of instruction and new digital methods?

While retention of factual knowledge was virtually the same using traditional teaching methods and digital learning, the motivation factor when teachers used gaming strategies and digital resources was huge. In addition, the boys were considerably more enthusiastic about the digital projects and spent large amounts of their free time working on their projects without prompting from teachers.

Educator quote about IBSC Action Research

"The depth of learning and the long-term retention of concepts and ideas was powerfully influenced by the digital learning experience"