October 2009 Archives


The Use of CPAs

            I think the use of CPAs was not a good technique to use for students in the secondary school age and younger.  I don't think they were mature enough to handle it.  At the same time, I don't think it can be a success.  Honestly, I have never had such an experience, but from the articles I already doubt it.

            One of the articles stated that participants didn't change their chat discourse even when the CPAs were presented as an authority figure.  Instead they saw the agent as a peer.  The desire of being able to alter the CPA in ways the student wants could also be controversial.  The reason for this can be that, students may  have less respect for the purposes of the agent and instead see it more like a game.  On the other hand student may want to interact more often with the agent because they were able to create it somehow.  These predicaments do need more experimenting, because we don't know exactly what the probability of each can be. 

In both articles, off task behavior occurred more often than on task behaviors.  This meant that the purposes of the CPA wasn't very successful.  I don't think computer robots can live up to the expectations of human beings.  This negates the use of CPAs has a helpful tool to assist students. 

With middle school students, I think the use of CPAs does not encourage students to do their work.  I think students of this age find the CPAs as more like a game.  This could be a reason to why so much inappropriate behaviors occurred.  Then again, I think the gender of the CPAs does matter.  The middle school students were given a female agent to work with.  Even though she wasn't presented visually in ways that could encourage inappropriate behaviors, it was the fact that she was female that students felt they can be inappropriate with her.  If the agent was male, I think there will be less inappropriate behaviors.  The reason to that is that the male gender is perceived to have more authority automatically.  The female gender would more likely have to establish some kind of authority in order to be seen in that way.  Also, as stated in one of the articles, CPAs were made in a way where they are in a position where they are inferior to students.  In the middle school article, this does not support the authority figure the female agent was given prior to her interactions with the middle school students. 




Gaming in the classrooms?  I have always thought that video games and school should not cross.  In this new age, I think children spend more time on game than ever before due to the new additions/creations.  My experiences with game playing didn't really start until my adolescent years.  I can say now that I do engage in a good amount of game time.  Regardless, I never tried to associate the two. 

            Reading the articles, I realized there is more to game play than what I initially thought.  I think there is a hidden agenda for learning, even though it was not always evident.  I recently observed this with my nephew, a second grader who spends more time playing Call of Duty (COD) more than doing his homework.  I realized his reading skills and writing skills improved dramatically.  He plays the game online with his PS3, which always associated with sending messages to invite friends to join him.  From an outsider's standpoint, I thought it was very helpful for him because even though he wasn't doing his homework (usually reading), he was doing it while playing his favorite game, although I feel the game is not appropriate for him. 

            How can we integrate game playing in school? Honestly, I don't know.  This understanding that game playing does teach students is still new to me.  I think with more research, teachers can manipulate their lessons to relate to the topic of games.  I think the real question, though, is how can we keep our students participating without boring them?  Can we associate their favorite games into our lessons?  This seems very controversial to me, because many games are in genres where it shouldn't be related to school (i.e. violence). 


            As a woman and a game player, I do believe that the gaming world has failed to create avatars that I can relate to.  I do agree with the idea that some people create their avatars according to how they want to be perceived (although I don't do this because the games that I play either has no avatar or the avatars are men).  I think that female avatars are portrayed to be something that most women cannot relate to.  In other words, there is too much emphasis on certain parts of the female identity that does not relate to the avatar characters in the games.  Due to this, it's harder for girls to be involve with the gaming.  I think this is why girls are stereotyped to be non-gamers.  My all-time question is: if girls aren't game players, and game players receive fun learning from playing games, then how do girls learn outside of schools, or are they not learning?

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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