My Reflective Practice: Pondering Implications When Students Reflect the Teacher

October 30, 2014
(Image source: "Mirror, mirror on the wall" by epicture's (More off than on); Creative Commons license; https://www.flickr.com/photos/edastrauch/537710440/

(Image source: “Mirror, mirror on the wall” by epicture’s (More off than on); Creative Commons license; https://www.flickr.com/photos/edastrauch/537710440/

As I come to the finish of my second cohort for OLTD 506: Special Topics—Social Media, I am reflecting on my evaluation perspective. It’s not so much the nuts and bolts—though those are affected—but whether what I am marking is based on my expertise in a emergent field, specifically FIPPA (RSBC 1996) compliant educational uses of social media in British Columbia, Canada, or whether there is something more at play. What brought this to mind was an incident in the final synchronous meeting session with the 2014 post-graduate students. While I was in the midst of the final session, I received an email from a colleague in the K-12 sector with a very interesting social media situation. I verbally reframed the issue as a mini-case study to protect the identifying information, and posed the question to the attendees. My thought at the time was, “What better final test of what my students have learned, then to see how they would respond to an informed BC educator’s concerns in this situation? Could they target the key concerns?” A second thought was, “And how well would their analysis align with mine as the expert learner in this situation?”

When several of my students stepped up to the virtual mic, each addressing the key issues as I would have identified them, and proposing the rationale—again as I would have explained it, I was very proud of them: their responses clearly indicated that they were able to process the issue in the way I, as an ‘expert’ in the area would have done. Later, I began to reflect on my response to the students’ analyses more deeply. Was I reacting favourably to my students’ responses because they were what would be expected of an expert, or because they reflected what I specifically would have done? It’s a difficult question for me, as I believe at this point in time there are few people with the knowledge and expertise to train educators in the issues surrounding social media use within the scope of the strict privacy legislation governing BC public schools and institutions. At the same time, I am aware and quite explicit with my students that I have clear philosophical leanings. For example, I believe that social media has a place and purpose in a 21st Century classroom, that teacher professionalism extends to work with and in social media, that privacy is not dead and the respect for it needs to be taught, that educators have a role in supporting student development—and by extension the development of society—in the pro-social uses of technology for teaching and learning. As I continue to reflect on this as an educator, one thing is clear: if my students continue responding to social media issues as they did in the final synchronous session of OLTD 506 (2014), I believe that it will be evident that they studied the topic under my guidance.

Quite often, we can trace the philosophical/academic lineage between students and teachers when we know the work of the individuals just as we see influences between artists. I haven’t necessarily judged this student reflection of the teacher as good or ill. I think I need to further ponder and analyze the potential implications for myself and my students. I also think that my process and evaluative approaches are founded and driven by my philosophical underpinnings and therefore cannot be teased apart. Perhaps only the field can ultimately value whether having my students reflect my process/evaluative knowledge and my philosophical leanings is positive. As with all things, maybe it will only be good, until something better comes along. When it does, I’ll be signing up for that professor’s course. 😉

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@AERA 2012 Finding my researcher hat

April 15, 2012
Picture of stacks of men's hats

(by Small_Realm via flickr)

As I continued to attend sessions at AERA, I found myself struggling with the subtext of maintaining an “observational lens” or what may be more accurately termed an ’empirical’ perspective in research. It’s made it difficult for me to feel that I could belong to this community of researchers. I mean, I feel like a practitioner who did something interesting based on what I conceive of as best practices from my professional research & experience with some folks who were interested in what I was doing. They invited me down a path with them, doing something interesting around social media policy & practice development, allowed me to collect some data about it, and I reported out on that experience. (BTW—thank you SO much to SD 10, Arrow Lakes School District, BC, Sally McLean, Walter Posnikoff, & Nicole Suhr who supported my professional contributions & research there.) So last Friday, there I was at a table with my colleague @rfmoll presenting on the ‘findings’. Let me say that @rfmoll is much more in her element here than I. I was kind of feeling like some type of cultural minority.

This morning shifted a few things. 1) I ran into Jaimie Ashton (@j_ashton). If you don’t know Jaimie she’s a fabulous trainer for SMART Technologies. She just happened to be on the way to the session that I was looking for, “Technology Leadership for Successful Technology Integration in Education”. Jaimie’s all about getting hands-on with improving actual practice. I felt like I ran into another member of my “culture”.  (BTW whenever she’s presenting somewhere I sit in–always a new nugget to take away). 2) The aforementioned session was fabulous– on research in ed tech leadership that took comprehensive views of conditions & factors–including my current interest, policy–with definite implications/applications/takeaways for the field. 3) I made connections with Ruben Vanderlinde @ University of Ghent (some of his stuff on Mendeley)–have tweeted about his stuff–& Maurice Hollingsworth @ University of Lethbridge, AB. They are doing some very interesting work in researching successful ed tech leadership. I look forward to soaking up whatever they’ll share with me–I’ve asked for whatever they’ll share. 4) One of Ruben’s colleagues suggested that I might be interested in ‘design research’ that looks at implementing practice in the field to potentially improve the field & refine/adjust the practice implemented–yes, Yes, YES!

This is what I would like to do–identify research that presents opportunities to better our practices, policies, & processes–find somewhere they can be introduced into a context & see where it goes–to refine or redirect efforts. Rueben’s colleague suggested I read McKenny & Reeves’ work. If you have any other suggestions, comments, or directions to send me-feel free. Unlike a lot of attendees, I’m not even working on my Phd as yet–haven’t found a program/focus to commit to–but am carefully considering my options for when I do. I need what I do to be meaningful within my personal/professional framework & I believe I’m getting closer. Any virtual mentoring will be gratefully accepted!


@AERA 2012: Research as a Mona Lisa in HD?

April 14, 2012
Pixelated image of the Mona Lisa

Pixelated Mona Lisa as metaphor for research.

A s I worked diligently with @rfmoll, my colleague–Rachel Moll–to finish our paper and presentation for AERA 2012 in Vancouver (Educating with Social Media: Policy & Practice in British Columbia), I have been struggling with the challenges of researching and the ability to see a complex, holistic vision within which the object of the research is situated–as well as what might be influencing what you’re observing. As I attend more and more sessions here, @rfmoll has reminded me that in order to research–the focus must be narrowed. I guess that’s what the ‘limitations’ section is for. One session I went to focused on ‘big data’ sets that yielded interesting information on wiki development by students–while that sounds all encompassing, the breadth meant the research left me yearning for depth of focus like recommendations for best practices, etc. So a narrow focus can also be broad.

While I accept that for one person–or even a few people–to research something with any depth, the field of vision must be narrowed, I find it troubling–maybe because I’m a global learner, a systems thinker–I don’t know. Many of the presenters/speakers I have seen are discovering very interesting things that can inform our teaching and learning, but they can only encompass so much in the scope of a study; they are taking it in one direction where multiple directions are possible & likely equally valid. They have considered specific aspects while others might be in play. I guess I want research to be more like an HD picture of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre. In the virtual copy, you can get much closer than in person, zoom in/out and around the image in high definition. I’m wondering is there anyway to network our research around technology, educating, and learning in some way that would allow us to move from randomized microscopic visions, to orchestrating those narrow visions to recreate a more complex wholistic picture–much like pixels populate a screen to render HD images. Right now, I feel like I’m looking at some pointillist version of reality.

Maybe I’m naive? Admittedly, the higher the resolution, the more pixels you need. That’s an awful lot of microscopic visions that need to be coordinated to make an HD picture, but imagine if you could take a research item in technology, teaching and learning and look at it from multiple lenses at the same time at varying depths–almost like one of those 360 photos you can pan around. That’s how I wish I could pursue my technology-based educational research–find a group of researchers interested in different views of the same system–students, teachers, administrators, institutions, etc. then coordinate & collate the results. Not too long ago, HD images were a dream for most people. @rfmoll told me I’m looking for the Holy Grail of research. In truth, I’d take the Mona Lisa. Anyone else want to recreate the Mona Lisa with me?


Magic Beans for Families Raising Readers To Do Well in School

November 29, 2011

I thought this was an ed tech blog, what’s up?

While technology is my main gig right now, being a teacher is in my blood–and I’m a dedicated parent. While this post is a bit out of the ordinary for my blog, I felt I needed to write it as a teacher and a mom of 2 young boys…
What if someone gave you a handful of magic bean to help you grow your child’s success in school and later life by increasing their ability to read? I say ‘magic’ because magic is associated with getting something you want without a lot of work. What if those ‘magic beans’ were actions that didn’t require advanced degrees or intense efforts? What if they were backed by research that showed they were effective across the world? Would you do them? Would any loving parent/guardian commit to them? I think so. I found out about them via two articles on how to do just that:

  • T. Friedman’s NY Times piece, “How about better parents?” discussing the results of the 2009 PISA report, “PISA 2009 Results: Overcoming Social Background: Equity in Learning and Outcomes (Vol. II)”.
  • and

  • The easy to digest overview of the PISA test findings in “What can parents do to help their children succeed in school?”.


  • What is PISA?

    PISA is an organization that tests students (age 15) globally and ranks countries on their performance. PISA has been doing this since 2000, but in their 2009 testing PISA also collected data from the students’ parents/guardians regarding what they did with their children at home. When PISA looked into parent/guardian activities and student achievement, they found that regardless of how much money or social status a student’s family had, students scored better in reading if parents/guardians were doing a few key simple things.

    What Counts Most In the First & Early School Years?

    PISA research determined the trifecta for student reading achievement to be:

  • Reading with children in the first year of school–regularly and often
  • Talking with children about what they did in their day
  • Telling stories to children
  • Not having an advanced degree, doing handstands, or spending hours tutoring–plain old reading, talking and telling stories. Sounds simple, no?

    One of the most important activities that parents/guardians could do with their children that made the most impact on their later achievement was when parents/guardians read to children in their first year of primary school–regularly and often. On average, simply reading regularly to a child during that first year in school made ‘well over’ 1/2 year’s difference in achievement (on average 25 points different on PISA test). [I would hazard a guess that families didn’t suddenly start reading often and regularly in that first year–but likely would have been doing it for some time.] Now people might say, rich and educated people would be the ones to really benefit from that, but when compared in similar socio-economic brackets, parents/guardians reading to students regularly and often in the first year of school accounted for a 14 point difference in PISA test scores when the students were 15! When that was combined with talking to children and discussing their day with them, as well as telling stories with them, the impact was amplified.

    What Counts Most in the Teen Years?
    The research said that when parents/guardians did these 5 things with their children, they made a significant impact on their reading test scores:

  • Discussing social or political issues regularly
  • Discussing books, movies or TV programs
  • Discussing how well children are doing at school
  • Eating meals together
  • Spending time just talking together
  • Of these, PISA found the activity with the greatest impact was when parents/guardians discussed social or political issues with their children weekly or daily. In these families, students scored 28 points higher on average–well over 1/2 year’s worth of achievement.


    What Can You Do About It?
    Here are a few ideas I can think of…
    Get to the Kids Before Official School Starts:

  • Work with local preschools, daycares, playgroups, community centres, etc to send out flyers encouraging reading–giving book suggestions, etc. Flyer might even have a full story on it.
  • Create postcards with storytelling games and prompts.
  • Over the summer, a school could create a package–activites or ideas for preschool/daycare/community support programs to hand out weekly or bi-weekly. They could also be posted on website.
  • Early School Years:

  • At beginning of each year, school administration & teachers should make a statement introducing their plan for encouraging parent/guardian support through simple, low impact means. For example, something like, “This year/semester, you’ll be receiving prompts and activities that you can do with your children at home. These types of simple activities have been proven to improve reading–even in high school–and improve their test scores–and have been shown to work around the world. Look for them in ….[name deliver means]”
  • Encourage every teacher to send home an “Ask your child about…” with a list of 3 things or more regularly (weekly–at beginning of week). It could be things students are doing in class, something good they did that day, etc. Determine if technology is appropriate for disseminating this type of information or whether it will reinforce socio-economic stratification.
  • Encourage teachers to regularly send prompts for storytelling–biographical, fictional–home for famiiles. Teacher can prepare the students to “Ask your parent/guardian about…” and have each student share one interesting detail the following day.
  • Where students do not have a reliable adult presence at home, think of starting a ‘breakfast club” or ‘snack club’ where a teacher or volunteer cleared by the school offers to do these things with students over some food at regularly scheduled times.
  • Teen Years:

  • At beginning of each year, school administration & teachers should make a statement introducing their plan for encouraging parent/guardian support through simple, low impact means. For example, something like, “This year/semester, you’ll be receiving prompts and activities that you can do with your children at home. These types of simple activities have been proven to improve reading–even in high school–and improve their test scores–and have been shown to work around the world. Look for them in ….[name deliver means]”
  • Teachers can send home prompts re. social or political discussions related to materials students are reading. Reading “Romeo and Juliet”? Why not have students ask their parents/guardians, “Do you know any families that ever feuded? Why do you think that happens?
  • Survey the student body re. movies, books, and films that are popular. Provide some critical thinking questions that parents/guardians could ask kids–without having to really know the item. For example, “I heard “Twilight” was about vampires. Is it just about vampires killing people”?Or, “I saw a promo for Glee, do the students in that show act like real high school kids?” Or, “Do you think I would like that book you read? Why/why not?”
  • Suggest families ask students, “What was the best thing that happened to you at school today?What made it good?” and “What was your biggest challenge at school today? Why do you think that was?
  • Send home an “Eating Together” commitment sheet. Ask families to commit as best as possible to eat at least 3 meals a week together (pick your number). Provide some type of tally or recording sheet.
  • Where students do not have a reliable adult presence at home, think of starting a ‘breakfast club” or ‘snack club’ where a teacher or volunteer cleared by the school offers to do these things with students over some food at regularly scheduled times.
  • What other things are you doing–or could do–to encourage families to plant a few magic reading beans of their own?


    Julia’s Comments on Snapshot Study of Canadian K-12 Online Learning

    July 14, 2009

    You may be aware of the North American Council for Online Learning released a report in October 2008 called “A Snapshot State of the Nation Study: K-12 Online Learning in Canada”. The report was written by Michael K. Barbour of Wayne State University (Michigan) & Robin Steward of Chatham Kent Public Library (Ontario) based on existing literature and contributions of practitioners in the Canadian field of K-12 online learning. As I now teach & work in educational technology in a pre-service teacher program at Vancouver Island University (Nanaimo, BC) and as a teacher with a history of distributed learning experience in British Columbia, Canada, I am very happy to see some research materials on Canada’s K-12 online learning experiences. Overall, I enjoyed reading the report and appreciated the Canadian focus of the research/data and I will be using it for  courses I teach on educational technology.

    Some interesting points of the study:

    History of K-12 Online Learning in Canada

    • “virtual schooling, as we know it in North American, began in Canada in 1994”
      • Avon Maitland Distance Education Centre, Avon Maitland District School Board, Ontario (1994-1995 with first courses offered in 1997-1998)
      • first virtual school offerings by Electronic Distance Education Network (1995-1996, Ontario)
      • first virtual school offerings by  Garden Valley Collegiate (1995-96, Manitoba)
      • several offerings by Alberta school district consortia

    (Author cites Barker & Wendel, 2001; Barker, Wendel & Richmond, 1999;  Haughey & Fenwich, 1996; Muirhead, 1999 for data)

    Little Existing  Research Data re. Canadian K-12 Online Learning

    • “With limited government, foundation and private support for education research, K-12 online learning programmes have not received financial support for research and evaluation.”
    • “…there has been little activity in Canadian higher education towards research of K-12 online learning “
    • a key governance difference in K-12 online learning responsibilities between Canada and the US is that  responsibility for education in Canada rests in the hands of each individual province or territory– in US it is in the hands of the federal Department of Education

    Canadian Regional Differences

    • eastern Canada tends to have stronger provincial programs
    • Quebec has “limited district-based programmes”
    • central Canada (i.e. Ontario) has provincial system and extensive district-based programmes as well as private school initiatives
    • western Canada tends “to have smaller or dated” provincial programs and “a varying level of district-based programmes”
    • Canadian territories leverage district-based programs in BC & Alberta

    Governance & BC’s Extraordinary Situation

    • “the vast majority of provinces do not have policies that are specifically realted to K-12 online learning. Instead, online learning programmes must struggle with meeting regulations designed for brick-and-mortar schools. The main exception…is British Columbia where the Government has created a specific regime to govern the operation of distance education in that province.”

    Julia’s Comments on the Research

    Firstly, it is important to note that this report helps further significant research dialogue on Canadian K-12 online learning. That said there were a few areas I think warrant further work.

    Leap from Correspondence to Online Models: Where is Potential Impact of Offline Computer Mediated Education?

    I am interested in the way that the description of the historical context seemed to leave out any mention of the use of offline, computer-based or computer-mediated education. The research seems to jump from the use of correspondence-type materials and to online content delivery. As one of the practitioners in the 1990’s, there was a distinct phase of using computer mediated content delivery either at a distance or in face-to-face brick-and-mortar situations. This was especially true for educators wanting more multimedia & interactivity in course design than could be supported on BC’s PLNet connections of the day (low-bandwidth). I think that educators who had been participating in the computer-mediated education were well positioned to move into and leverage online education as content became available–and to call for increased media & interactivity to push online learning beyond text on screen. I can remember several computer-mediated programs like Plato, CMI Crossroads, Nelson’s The Learning Equation,  that were in use when I was teaching in the mid-late 1990-early 2000’s in British Columbia and were a way-point between correspondence and multimedia rich online learning.

    Some Key Items in BC Context Merit Inclusion

    When I reflect on the development of online learning in British Columbia, I found it quite interesting that the report did not mention the rise of the COOL Schools consortium–prior to the formation of BCEdOnline. COOL schools started out as a collaboration among several school districts–then other BC districts wanted to buy access to content. When my district joined, our membership initially required a Blackboard license brokered by the Open Learning Agency or Open School. Two other groups that had historical impact on the formation of online learning in BC were  the BC Computer Curriculum Consortium and the BC Teachers’ Federation Provincial Specialist Association, Educators for Distributed Learning.

    One of the interesting issues I remember occurred when the regional distance education programs were still working in defined catchment areas.  Teachers employed in some regional educational programs were concerned re. the classification of their positions as  “markers” rather than “teachers”. If I recall properly, the issue of classification allowed for treatment of markers distinct from “teachers” re. student & course loads (e.g. in brick-and-mortar schools). Also of note was that during the rise of online learning, there were various tensions between the officially published positions & supported policies of the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) and the positions & policy recommendations of the EDLPSA (Educators for Distributed Learning Provincial Specialist Associaion, BCTF) members with regard to teachers’ working  issues around distributed learning in the province.

    The authors also missed another interesting period of online development fueled by K-12 funding  when the BC government was funding both local school districts AND distance education providers for FTE at the secondary level. Under that arrangement, students might attend a distributed learning support block at brick-and-mortar school within its schedule while working on a distributed learning course from another provider. At that time, the government was paying for enrollment in the distance education course and funding the teacher supervision FTE in the brick-and-mortar school. I believe that period lasted for 1-2 years before it was radically restructured. Likely enrollment data would show a increase in enrollments in the former and a steep decrease in enrollments under the later funding structures. I know that within my Distributed Learning Program, we began to look at leveraging existing content from COOL Schools through an opensource learning management system, ATutor ( complying with licensing constraints), as well as developing our own local content to further reduce costs.

    So on what do I base my critique ?

    My historical experience with distributed learning in BC schools stems back to the mid-1990’s when I developed a private program that leveraged several distance education providers like South Island Distance Education School (SIDES), Nechacko Valley’s eBus, & North Island Distance Education School (NIDES). Local parents enrolled students  in full-time distance education/distributed learning programs approved by the provincial government, and then paid me–a BC Certified teacher– to work with their children as a group in a pseudo-school.  Some content was “pizza-box” courses and some content was online. I supported  students “distance” education face-to-face with a range of subject matter expertise while the distance education programs supplied content, marking of submitted work & official course credit. Over time, I established partnerships with the providers mentioned above that allowed me to help guide instruction in a more collaborative fashion with these organizations. In one instance, a partner organization provided a computer and internet access in my rented location–that would have otherwise been made available to one of the students in their home–and with the student’s & parent’s permission– so that the students enrolled in their program might access their online content and communicate with their online teachers, advisors, etc. during our “class” days and hours–generally a 3 day week.

    My local district, SD 64 Gulf Islands,  took an interest in the model I developed and asked if they might send someone to chat with me and observe what I was doing.  An administrator from one of the Gulf Island schools on Pender Island, Jean Way, met with me to observe what I was doing. My model was a partial basis for the development of SD 64’s Secondary Learning Centres, later renamed Student Learning Centres.

    After running my private program for a number of years, I entered discussions with the local school district regarding potential employment working in their program at the local high school.  I applied & won the position, then closed my private program to take over the distance education program supervision at Gulf Islands Secondary School. A proponent of computers, I worked to bring in more computer mediated and online resources. In many cases, I continued partnering with my earlier contacts at the various regional distance education programs. During my employment with SD 64 Gulf Islands, I served as a member of the   Secondary Learning Centre Committee (later called Student Learning Centre Commitee, 1999-2006) to help form the directions our district was taking in regard to the provision and delivery of distributed learning programs, the district Technology Committee (2000-2001)–a natural extension as I was using computers extensively in the Gulf Islands Secondary Distributed Learning Program. I was also active at the provincial level as an Executive Member-at-Large for the Educators for Distributed Learning, Provincial Specialist Association, British Columbia Teachers Federation (2000-2003) and an Executive Member-at-Large in BC4 (BC Computer Curriculum Consortium, 2001-2003).


    Web 2.0 & Digital Divide

    July 7, 2009

    Recently I was teaching the use of delicious and similar tools during a educational technologies course. One of my pre-service teaching students asked me about the relevance for students  without access to social networking or internet technologies outside of school–especially since she was working in a support capacity in a school in socio-economically challenged area.

    My reply at the time was to cite a comment my sister told me recently, that public school and high school in particular are one of society’s great equalizers.  Today I was reading “Tweeting Your Way to Better Grades” online @ US News & World Report by Zach Miners. Miners paraphrased then quoted Jim Burke, an English teacher @ Burlingame High in California:

    the fact that some students might not have access to broadband Internet outside of school is the very reason why teachers should be focusing on bringing those technologies into school.

    “If a kid doesn’t have the means to set up an account on one of these services and to learn how to use it, then he’s losing out on these emerging forms of literacy”

    I think that he says it better than I did. I believe that there is a moral obligation to provide access to technology especially for those who can’t get it anywhere else.  In discussions with my students, I also suggested that schools start a technology club to allow students with an interest to meet before school, during lunch, breaks or after school to mutually support each other. In this way, students who are socio-economically challenged could be encouraged to join–much as other students–without any stigma attached to participation.

    Your thoughts? Ideas?


    Addictive Gaming Behaviours–implications for EdTech?

    July 2, 2009

    Just finished reading quite an interesting study on addictive behaviour in video gamers 8-18 years old  (U.S.), “Pathological Video-Game Use Among Youth Ages 8 to 18: A National Study”(Douglas Gentile, ‘‘Pathological Video-Game Use Among Youth
    Ages 8 to 18: A National Study,’’ Psychological Science, Volume
    20, Number 5, pp. 594–602.).

    Findings & Some Gender Differences

    The study is the first one of its kind on a national rather than regional scope. The study found that in a national sample of American youth aged 8-18, 88% played video games at least “occasionally”. Of that group, about 8% exhibited pathological gaming behaviour (addictive behaviour) as measured on scales similar to those used to measure addictive gambling behaviour.

    On average, the study found that youth who gamed did so 3-4 times per week for a total of an average of 13.2 hours per week. It found a significant difference in gender where boys’ average use was 16.4 hours/week while girls’ use was 9.2 hours/week.  I wonder if the numbers would be flipped for use of social networking software, i.e. that girls would spend a significantly greater amount of time than boys on social sites. It seems there are indications that this might be so at least from the PEW research,”Social Networking Websites and Teens: An Overview” (http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Social_Websites/)

    Older girls ages 15-17 are more likely to have used social networking sites and created online profiles; 70% of older girls have used an online social network compared with 54% of older boys, and 70% of older girls have created an online profile, while only 57% of older boys have done so.

    Gentile’s study found additional gender differences: boys were 2x more likely to own mature rated games, and more girls than boys “reported trying to reduce their video-game play”.

    The study also found that 20% of pathological gamers reported that gaming interfered with schoolwork or tests, 23% skipped homework to play games, and 25% reported using games to “escape problems”.  The ownership of “mature” games was 22% for 8-11, 41% for 12-14 & 56% of 15-18 year olds. Remember I said they found that boys were two times more likely to own “mature” rated games–and the study cites other findings that playing these types of games has been tied to violent behaviours.

    The study found that “frequency of video-game play appeared to stay relatively steady from 8-13, and to decrease thereafter” but that “although adolescents play…less frequently as they grow older, they appear to increase their playing time per session.”

    ADD, ADHD & Pathological Gaming

    The study also found comorbidity–or a co-presence of attention issues with pathological gaming. ADD & ADHD were mentioned specifically. However, the study was unable to discover whether the attention issues were distinct from the pathological gaming, whether they contributed to pathological gaming or whether pathological gaming contributed to attention issues. Clearly this merits further investigation.

    And where are the parents in all this?

    Well according to the findings, of all the gaming homes, only 50% of them had any rules about video-game use. Of that 50%, only 40% (20% overall) had rules about how much time youth could play, and 56% (28% overall) had rules regarding the gaming content.

    Implications for Educational Gaming?

    So, if we look at the statistics–approximatley 6.8% of youth aged 8-18 could be susceptible to addictive gaming behaviours– or 8% of the 86% of gamers. If that is so, does that mean that use of educational gaming could contribute to addictive behaviours in academically at-risk youth? Would this affect the development of educational gaming due to potential liability issues? Does this raise moral issues about the use of educational gaming in a general school population?

    I’m not sure, but it definitely raises these considerations for me. Your thoughts?