Title: Digital communities and videogames as educational tools in participatory culture

Authors: Laura Méndez; Pilar Lacasa; María García-Pernía

Addresses: Faculty of Psychology, Open University (UNED), Calle Juan del Rosal, 10 Madrid-28040, Spain ' Faculty of Humanities, University of Alcalá, Aulario María de Guzmán, Calle San Cirilo s/n, Alcalá de Henares, 28801-Madrid, Spain ' Faculty of Humanities, University of Alcalá, Aulario María de Guzmán, Calle San Cirilo s/n, Alcalá de Henares, 28801-Madrid, Spain

Abstract: This study examines how innovative educational contexts facilitate the development of new literacies in a participatory culture. The study was carried out in a Spanish secondary education school, where students used online conversational environments and video games. The data were collected from a workshop carried out in an English class. It was conducted in two scenarios, inside and outside the classroom. While students were playing, they talked about the game, planned their actions and took decisions together. Moreover, they participated in a virtual conversational space to support the game's sessions by facilitating reflective gaming among the participants. The results show that social relationships evolved from a social network, in which individual contributions are important, to an online community in which the group was predominant. Participation made it easier for students to approach the discourse and the rules of the game and enhance the new literacy training process.

Keywords: social networks; online communities; videogames; new literacies; innovation; digital communities; educational tools; participatory culture; web based communities; virtual communities; Spain; secondary education; English teaching; foreign language teaching; online discussion; social relationships; literacy training.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMILE.2013.053602

International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments, 2013 Vol.1 No.2, pp.145 - 163

Available online: 02 May 2013

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