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      Triggering STEM Interest With Minecraft in a Hybrid Summer Camp


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          We investigated the application of Minecraft in the context of both in-person and hybrid summer camps for informal science learning. Our work focuses on determining the ways in which digital game-based learning experiences can act as triggers of interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Campers were invited to explore simulations of hypothetical versions of Earth (e.g., What if the Moon did not exist?), make observations of how these worlds are different from our own, and build habitats suitable for survival on these and other alien worlds. Multiple forms of data, including field notes, interviews, game log data, and in-game knowledge assessments, suggest that many different aspects of the game and informal learning contributed to interest development. In particular, learners were found to have their interest triggered by various in-game and contextual aspects of the learning experiences, such as instructional conversation, novelty, ownership, and challenge. These interest triggers remained constant across in-person and remote camp settings with no consistent differences emerging between the two settings.

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          The Four-Phase Model of Interest Development

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            The benefits of playing video games.

            Video games are a ubiquitous part of almost all children's and adolescents' lives, with 97% playing for at least one hour per day in the United States. The vast majority of research by psychologists on the effects of "gaming" has been on its negative impact: the potential harm related to violence, addiction, and depression. We recognize the value of that research; however, we argue that a more balanced perspective is needed, one that considers not only the possible negative effects but also the benefits of playing these games. Considering these potential benefits is important, in part, because the nature of these games has changed dramatically in the last decade, becoming increasingly complex, diverse, realistic, and social in nature. A small but significant body of research has begun to emerge, mostly in the last five years, documenting these benefits. In this article, we summarize the research on the positive effects of playing video games, focusing on four main domains: cognitive, motivational, emotional, and social. By integrating insights from developmental, positive, and social psychology, as well as media psychology, we propose some candidate mechanisms by which playing video games may foster real-world psychosocial benefits. Our aim is to provide strong enough evidence and a theoretical rationale to inspire new programs of research on the largely unexplored mental health benefits of gaming. Finally, we end with a call to intervention researchers and practitioners to test the positive uses of video games, and we suggest several promising directions for doing so. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.
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              Motivating the Academically Unmotivated: A Critical Issue for the 21st Century


                Author and article information

                Technology, Mind, and Behavior
                American Psychological Association
                November 28, 2022
                : 3
                : 4
                : np
                [1]Department of Educational Psychology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
                [2]Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
                [3]Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Maine
                Author notes
                Special Collection Editors: Rachel Flynn and Fran Blumberg.
                Action Editor: Fran Blumberg was the action editor for this article.
                Funding: This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation and Directorate for Education and Human Resources under Grants 1713609 and 1906873.
                Disclosures: The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
                Data Availability: Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Digital log data are publicly available through our website, and interview data and field notes are available by request to the contact author.
                [*] H. Chad Lane, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 1310 South 6th Street, Champaign, IL 61820, United States hclane@illinois.edu
                Author information
                © 2022 The Author(s)

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC-BY-NC-ND). This license permits copying and redistributing the work in any medium or format for noncommercial use provided the original authors and source are credited and a link to the license is included in attribution. No derivative works are permitted under this license.

                Innovations in Remote Instruction

                Education,Psychology,Vocational technology,Engineering,Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry
                engagement,educational games,interest triggering,informal science learning,interest development


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