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Thursday, June 12 • 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Gender Matters

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Discussant:  James Paul Gee

Learning, Play, and Identity in Gendered Lego Franchises
Rebecca Black, Bill Tomlinson, Ksenia Korobkova, Sierra Ivy
In this paper, we use a mixed methods approach to compare the multimodal “building blocks” of play provided by the Lego Friends franchise, which is primarily aimed at female audiences, and several other Lego series that are marketed to similar-age male audiences. Using both quantitative and qualitative analyses, we examine if and how certain configurations of play and gendered-discourses may be privileged through preferred set constructions (i.e., those provided by Lego via instructions and marketing materials) and associated media narratives (i.e., videogames and videos). Initial quantitative analyses suggest that Lego sets for girls may be at a slightly more developmentally advanced level than those for boys. Qualitative analysis suggests that the sets, games, and materials both challenge and affirm traditional gender stereotypes.

Boys and their Toys: Video Game Learning & the Common Core
Jason Engerman, Monique MacAllan, Alison Carr-Chellman
Traditional K-12 public school culture seems to be alienating and distancing for many boys today (Martin 2002). Author proposes that this crisis is due to the rejection of boy culture (2011). Gaining acceptance of games in traditional classrooms has the powerful potential to change the culture of schools to one that is more welcoming to boys’ ways of being, but most teachers find games without sufficient curricular merit to spend the necessary time learning and utilizing games effectively. This study sought to understand the potential interaction between commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) video games and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) as reported by boy gamers. Data was gathered through phenomenologically based semi-structured interviews with boys, aged 10-17. Our results indicate specific connections between COTS and the CCSS, further supporting such theoretical works from Prensky (2006) and Gee (2003).

Tech Trajec-Stories: Values That Shape the Lives of Women in Technology
Meagan Rothschild, Amanda Ochsner
Education and industry would benefit from more women in computer science. Still vastly underrepresented, there is a need for more research on women’s experiences with technology. Better understanding how those experiences shape—and are shaped by—women’s ongoing relationships with play and learning may reveal new approaches for engaging women in computer science education and the technology industry. This paper reports on first steps in this direction of inquiry, describing the outcomes of interviews with women in computer science. Interviews focused on each woman’s long-term trajectory, querying how each participant remembers and ranks her values as she thinks back on key phases of her life. Guiding research questions included, 1) How do successful women in computer science fields describe their life story in terms of play and learning experiences? 2) Given a list of values, how do women in computer science rank values across selected seasons from youth to adulthood?


Rebecca Black

Associate Professor, UC Irvine
avatar for Alison Carr-Chellman

Alison Carr-Chellman

Head of Department, Penn State Learning and Performance Systems
Boys and gaming. Focused on ways that games can help change the culture of schools and bring about significant enough disruptions to create systemic change (has always been a passion). User-design, the creation of systems of all kinds by the users themselves, with true decision... Read More →
avatar for Jason Engerman

Jason Engerman

Professor/Researcher, Pennsylvania State University
I am a doctoral candidate in Learning, Design & Technology within the Learning and Performance Systems department at Penn State University. I am interested in authentic teaching and learning through socioculturally relavant technologies. This has led me to video game spaces and their... Read More →
avatar for Amanda Ochsner

Amanda Ochsner

Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Southern California
avatar for Meagan Rothschild

Meagan Rothschild

VP Design Research & Consumer Insights, Age of Learning

Thursday June 12, 2014 2:30pm - 3:30pm CDT
Old Madison

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