This week’s readings introduce us to some comprehensive frameworks for evaluating technology for use in teaching and learning. However, I think that there is room for introducing some more considerations and I was inspired by the readings (especially, Bates’ catchy acronym) to create a framework that incorporates the ideas from the various authors and also introduces a couple of new considerations. And of course, in order to make the framework memorable, I had to come up with a catchy acronym of my own – L.E.A.R.N.I.N.G. T.E.C.H.S.
De Castell and Jensen identify several factors that allow commercial video games to offer a more engaging learning experience for gamers than educational games. The most prominent feature that allows deeper engagement with commercial video games is immersion.
Both Gee and Turkle introduce some terms that really resonated. However, I found myself looking for common ground in the work of the two scholars and thought that Turkle’s concept of the physical real is a locus that can be used to connect arguments from Alone Together and What Video Games Have to Teach Us. The physical real is one of those concepts that is so rudimentary that it is hard to explain.
In this week’s reading there are many interesting innovations, cases and frameworks for assessment discussed by Nicol, Redecker & Johannessen. I found that there was one common theme that tied all of these frameworks together – a movement towards greater learner self-regulation .
In Vaughan et al’s (2013) discussion of blended learning and the planning and design modifications required to facilitate effective communities of inquiry they introduce an intriguing term – presence.
Transformative pedagogy encourages the learner to critically explore attitudes and perspectives, question them in the light of social issues and attain social agency through action. Mezirow, J. and Associates. (2000) identify the following three themes central to the transformative learning framework:
Although there are many insightful readings in this week’s topic of Gender, Difference and Networked Media, the keyword (I know, it’s actually a phrase) that I found to be the most poignant was from Gray (2007): “use of Internet technologies can register as both a private experience and a suspended moment of public engagement”.
Nakamura labels the prevalent market structure in the propagation of memes, AIM buddy icons and viral media (etc.) as a gift economy. Gift economies are a characteristic of participatory culture wherein participants appropriate and transform existing media and co-opt their usage in participatory exchanges. The original and the transformed media are further available for the participants to appropriate, transform and propagate.
The self-governing, participatory culture (community) described by Kafai and Peppler reminds me of the perfectly competitive markets model from economic theory. For those of you who may have forgotten Microeconomics 101, some of the defining characteristics of a perfectly competitive market are:
Authentic learning activities are conducted in the specific social and physical environment in which their application will occur. The key to developing and delivering authentic learning activities is to situate the learning (in the context wherein it will be applied). The aim is to develop learners’ real world application of concepts by engaging them in tasks that are more relevant to their lives instead of abstract, decontextualized knowledge.One of the key tenets of situated learning is that knowledge is co-constructed through social interaction among learners. The success of situated learning depends on the level of authenticity (i.e. degree of similitude with real world) of the interaction and the underlying task. Higher levels of authenticity yield deeper and more meaningful learning. Some examples include simulations, role playing, interactive workshops and communities of practice.