Academic journal article Journal of New Approaches in Educational Research

Can Videogames Be Used to Develop the Infant Stage Educational Curriculum?

Academic journal article Journal of New Approaches in Educational Research

Can Videogames Be Used to Develop the Infant Stage Educational Curriculum?

Article excerpt

1 INTRODUCTION

The development of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has allowed our modern society to advance at a very fast pace. This movement aims at building a more technological world that will supposedly simplify people's lives.

These new technologies consequently imply a change of the utmost significance in the way people behave in their daily activities. From this point of view, all the surviving traditions which still remain significant in social movements are being incorporated (Marín, 2012a). These traditions have become very important because, in some ways, they are the ones conditioning the development of ICTs, together with many other social aspects.

This is a very ambitious approach, since it includes many perspectives, including social, political, ethical and educational ones. Nevertheless, it also raises some new important issues that can be said to belong within the main category of e-exclusion - an increasingly important problem. Why is this aspect taken into account? It must be remembered that the ICT utilization depends on many factors, among which stand out economic, geographic, social, political and educational ones. Participation in actions and activities involving ICTs in general and 2.0 tools is becoming more frequent (Cheung & Vougue, 2013). Thus, new and undesired scenarios of technological inequality will most probably arise in the near future.

That is the reason why the progressive introduction of ICTs in classrooms not only implies a change in teaching methodologies combined with a new understanding of the teaching-learning process, but also a systematic and measured destruction of the so-called digital divide.

Of all the new fast-growing new technologies, 2.0 tools and videogames appear as the most popular ones among the classroom population across the different educational levels. The reaction to 2.0 tools and videogames ranges from a love-hate relationship to cases in which they are much present in daily teaching. Therefore, those teachers who are trying to develop their students' curriculum and make their contents more attractive for them must consider the possibility of using both 2.0 tools and videogames, since they are key elements within the long-awaited and much-needed academic innovation.

2 VIDEOGAMES AND EDUCATION

As stated previously, ICTs are becoming a reality both for students and for the teaching staff. This rising trend has been characterized by the strong growth of new technologies use in private homes, educational and working centers and, in general, in every area where human beings have advanced in recent years.

The development of the Internet has led to the implementation of new teaching methodologies where teachers as well as students assume the new roles that the knowledge society has created for them. This is a new perspective in which aspects such as collaboration, collaborative work, innovation, and the ability to look for new information in an analytical manner become essential. As can be seen, all these features form part of curricular development at the various educational levels.

Technological tools, or 2.0 tools as they are known nowadays, have developed simultaneously with the Internet. This new Web 2.0 environment is defined by: the bidirectional exchange of information; the collective construction of knowledge; its open participation system, and the free availability of most tools (O'Reilly, 2005). In other words, these are the main features of the Web 2.0 which human beings love and/or hate and with which they have to live and work day in day out.

Technological growth has also resulted in a desire to instruct our students in the so-called "digital literacy." Sharing the opinion expressed by Bustos (2009) -though with some nuances- leads us to state digital literacy clearly involves much more than the mere ability to use a computer. Our conception of digital literacy focuses on "the ability to understand and use information in a variety of formats from a wide range of sources" and also to be able to present that information in coherent, pleasant and varied ways". …

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