Academic journal article Education

Barriers of Using Educational Games in Jordanian Public Schools

Academic journal article Education

Barriers of Using Educational Games in Jordanian Public Schools

Article excerpt

Introduction

Educational and computer games are used effectively in modern schools. Schools in developed countries started using computer games in the classroom. Recently, new technologies like; interactive board, internet and computer games spread widely for many reasons such as; they attract students attention, as well as they could help students to be the center of teaching and learning process instead of the traditional technique in which the teacher is always the center of the teaching and learning process. Moreover, they enhance the corporation inside the classroom by boosting an interaction among students and teachers from one side and among students themselves from the other hand.

Roger (2003) reported that educational institutions slowly adopt new educational products although the benefits of those products are widely well-known. Many researchers argue that computer games have a significant pedagogical potential to support classroom instruction (Dempsey, Lucassen, Haynes, & Casey, 1997; Foreman, 2004; Prensky, 2001; Squire & Jenkins, 2008). Computer games are used less in the developing countries. In this context, many of previous studies stated that there are a lot of obstacles and barriers that prevent teachers from using educational games in the classroom (Egenfeldt-Nielsen, 2005; Gros, 2003; Lopez-Moreto & Lopez, 2007).

Hays (2005) stated that there is no confirmation indicates that computer games are the ideal or the perfect tool in all situations. Other researchers expressed that computer games just attract student's attention and boost their motivation, but they do not enhance and increase the level of learning (Brewster, 1996). Conversely, Virvou at el, (2005) indicated that computer games are rarely used in schools for several reasons. Firstly, educators and parents are uncertain about whether students can get benefits from applying computer games or no. secondly, computer games were criticized for being integrated with educational activities, we lose both educational and entertainment contexts at the same time, that is to say the stereotype pertaining to computer games is for fun. These beliefs and practices presented major obstacles that prevent educators from using computer games in our schools. In addition, to these stereotypical beliefs, several barriers were identified in previous studies, among these are the following:

1. Curriculum issues. It is a critical factor in adopting computer games by school administrations and educators. So, a kind of harmony should be appeare between game's content and school curriculum. (Gros, 2003; Rosas et al, 2003; Squire et al, 2005).

2. Time: This factor could decrease the implementation of computer games in our school. So, Teachers should be informed about (1) the time of using the game into the classrooms and (2) the purpose of using the game (Van Etten & Watson, 1976).

3. Technical issues. This factor is concerned with ability of teachers to operate and use these games. Thus, teachers should be able to download computer games and able to overcome sudden errors during the running these games. (Gros, 2003; Rosas et al, 2003).

On the other hand, Ke (2008) indicated that computer games compared to conventional teaching were significantly more effective in promoting learning motivation. Recently, many of facilitations including; new computers, internet services and computer games were provided to public schools in order to bridge the gap between males and females in term of using new technologies. Dempsey (1996) reported that females are less satisfied with computer games compared to males, he also added that females lack confidence and personal control during playing games. De Jean et al. (1999) also stated that recognizing the embedded math elements in the computer games is found to be difficult for girls. He added that cooperative game-playing and group problem-solving were practiced by boys more than girls. …

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