This week, Nanci and Rebecca talk about how they use video games for literacy and learning. And particularly, how video games can benefit children with language or literacy difficulties. They cover a vast range of games and resources. We’ve done our best to link to those mentioned in our show notes below. Computer Games for Reading and Typing The most obvious place to start with literacy and learning in video games is with the aspects of text-based game play for reading and writing (typing) skills. Rebecca and Nanci talk about how online chat features play an important role in developing reading and writing skills. Gamers read other people’s text and respond in text type. There are also instructions and information vital to the player’s success in text on the screen. This component of communication in video games makes them an effective tool for literacy. After all, as Nanci says, “Literacy is about so much more than reading a book…” Joshua’s Current Favourite Games * Minecraft * Hearthstone * Overwatch Technology and Digital Natives Nanci and Rebecca consider if technology and computers play a particularly vital role for today’s children. They are growing, learning, and developing in a technological era. It’s very much a Digital Age. Indeed, most children are digital natives. And as Rebecca points out, “Technology itself has been one of our biggest tools for learning; there’s no way [Joshua] would have advanced in the ways he has if he didn’t have access to the computer.” Being digital natives, using video games and computer technologies for literacy and learning means our children often become our teachers. We can share their learning experience. We take advantage of shared strengths. Children often have a great deal of confidence and natural intuition for how computers and video games work. Because of this, they can experience significant autonomy in gaming. They can guide and direct their own learning and play. Children can gravitate toward their strengths and explore concepts at the level of their ability as they’re ready. Decontextualised Learning Rebecca talks about video games from the perspective of autism.