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Annotated Bibliography

Should Video Games Be Used to Teach Kids in Schools?

William Tucker

Professor Malcolm Campbell

UWRT 1104-004

October 18, 2017

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Annotated Bibliography

Annetta, Leonard. Investigating the Impact of Video Games on High School Students

Engagement and Learning About Genetics. Science Direct, vol. 53, no. 1, 2009, p. 74 -


This reliable, peer-edited article introduces the concept of Multiplayer Educational

Gaming Applications (MEGA). The difference between teaching kids through video

games and teaching kids through MEGAs is that MEGAs are created specifically for

educational use. They were created because educators want to create the excitement kids

have for video games and direct that passion into learning. In this specific study, high

school kids are using MEGAs to learn about genetics. The hope for this MEGA is that the

high school students get a deeper understanding about genetics that other video games or

even textbooks couldnt offer. The conclusion of the study was that the MEGA was

helpful for a lot of students but that doesnt necessarily mean that other MEGAs are

going to be helpful in different subjects. The future looks bright for MEGAs but it is

important to create properly and have them be well tested before sent in to the classroom.

This source seems reliable because it is part of a scientific study and is peer edited. I will

use this source to explain that video games can have a purpose and can be incredibly

beneficial to students if done right.

Kamenetz, Anya. Schoolifying Minecraft Without Ruining It. nprED, 9 August 2017,



This is a developed news article dealing with how some schools have recently integrated

the popular family friendly game, Minecraft, into their new curriculum. The article
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discusses the beginning of MinecraftEdu, an alternate version of Minecraft created

specifically to help teachers create a productive learning environment. Using

MinecraftEdu, students could participate in group projects covering virtually every

subject varying from English and literature to math and physics. Using certain attributes

in the game, problem solving could prove to be a fun challenge, even for older students in

high school. Minecraft is the perfect game for teaching kids because it contains the

possibility to teach many lessons and is very popular among children due to its pre-

established online community, so students are eager to learn. The problem with

MinecraftEdu is that it has been recently purchased by Microsoft and turned into a

subscription based service. While this can lead to full time developers and a better

system, some teachers worry that it will lose part of the community aspect that it once

had. For, now it is too early to tell if MinecraftEdu will become a good tool for teachers

to use but the future is hopeful. This article was published by NPR, a credible news

source, that is helpful because it can give the most updated status of how video games are

being used in schools. I will use this article to explain how video games are being used to

properly teach kids in a way where they are excited to learn.

Office of Educational Technology. Department of Education, https://tech.ed.gov/netp/teaching/.

Accessed 10 October 2017.

This source is a reliable website created by the Office of Educational Technology (OET).

The OET is a branch of The Department of Education (DOT) that focuses on the

technological future of public school systems in America. This website explains how

public schools can integrate technology into their teaching. The goal of integrating

technology is for kids to learn how to create a discourse community earlier on in their
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education, and learning important curriculum in a manner that inspires creativity. Schools

can do this by letting kids make videos, music, video games etc. The source gives an

example of a teacher letting his students create text based video games together that will

help them improve on descriptive, clear writing, and work out problems together. While

the article doesnt take the side of video games as a whole, it does suggest that, if done

properly, video games could teach students the importance of collaboration and creativity

in a way that has not been done before. Considering that this website is created by the

DOE, the information presented in the website seems reliable. I will use this website to

explain that technology like video games are not inherently bad and can actually cause

kids to do better in school.

Steinkuehler, Constance. Video Games and Digital Literacies. Journal of Adolescent & Adult

Literacy, vol. 54, no. 1, 2010, p. 61+.

This is an academic source covering how video games affect children and how that can

be used to better educate them. The article starts off by describing how video games can

be potentially beneficial for childrens education. If a kid is actively playing a video

game, they are understanding difficult plot lines and then contributing to how the story

ends. Furthermore, kids who are particularly invested in certain games will join online

communities that are not unlike discourse communities. On these forums kids are sharing

their own fan fiction, art, and music. These creative outlets inspired by the video game

that a child has played. The article then offers research saying that while kids are

becoming more literate, that knowledge is not being transferred into school. Kids who

play video games do not have better grades than kids who do no. Kids who play video

games can have the possibility of having worse grades because of lack of interest in the
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curriculum. The article then offers a case study where a boy in eighth-grade who plays

video games reads at a fifth-grade level. When the boy was given an assigned reading, he

read at a fifth-grade level. When the boy was given a reading about video games he read

at a fifth-grade level. When the boy got to choose what to read, he read at a twelfth-grade

level. The article ends by saying that kids learn the most when passionate and for many

kids, being passionate about video games and learning lessons through them is valuable.

The article notes that video games are not the answer to make every kid smart, but they

can be a method for kids who struggle with orthodox teaching methods. This article

seems to be highly credible because they did research from past studies and cited

everything at the bottom. This article was also credible because the author had personal

experience dealing with kids who were struggling to learn and who operated better under

more unique teaching styles. I will use this article to argue that video games can be

extremely helpful for the kids who find it difficult to learn through common curriculum.