A paper I co-authored (and partially adapted from my work in a course about Dewey and democracy) was presented at the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Multimedia Conference in Beijing last week.
Though you (or your institution) will need a subscription to download it, the abstract (below) and the list of citations (linked) should give you a fair idea of where we went with this. If you’re interested, the actual paper can be found here.
The authors developed and tested a hyper-local air quality sensor network and a fictional game narrative to evaluate the pedagogical potential of Alternate Reality games for high school students in Los Angeles. This study examined how Deweyan concepts of learning can be applied to game play. The authors found that students developed a unique language to discuss real pollution issues within a fictional construct. Engaging in both civic engagement and educational rigor, student learning was situated in a framework of instruction John Dewey outlines as counter to traditional models of schooling. Despite limitations, including some authoritarian and competitive structures implicit in games, students found new reasons to communicate with real-world adults in verbal and written form. Game-based learning inspired substantial qualitative progress and high levels of engagement among students, compared to traditional teaching methods.