Conference Paper

Chaging the Rules of the Game: Digital Games as Tools of Change in the Special Education Classroom

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Abstract

Games have made their appearance in various articles in the popular press as a prominent educational tool, however teachers do not seem confident enough to include them in their educational scenarios, despite their need for high quality content and motivational tools. Digital games have been documented in the literature review as a promising educational tool with motivational perspectives to students who deal with low self esteem and special educational need (Brown et al 2009; Brown et al, 2011). Students with intellectual disabilities tend to exhibit below-average academic motivation and self-esteem, following the general rule that individuals with disabilities tend to anticipate negative outcomes in coping in domains directly affected by their disability (Varsamis & Agaliotis, 2011; Marsh, Papaioannou, & Theodorakis, 2006). However up till now special education hasn’t yet included digital games in their educational practices, questioning the quality and practical application of digital games in the special education classroom. The purpose of this paper is to present the multiple methodologies that lead to a series of empirical observations regarding the incorporation of computer and location based games, in the educational experience of students with mild and moderate intellectual disability (ID). Findings that outline the motivational and communicational alterations in different special education classrooms in Athens, Greece as well as the role of educators in the process, will be also highlighted.

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