Gee, J.P. (2007) Good video games + good learning : collected essays on video games, learning, and literacy. Chapter 4: Good video games, the human mind, and good learning. New York : Peter Lang. pp. 22-44.
Consider what gaming environments can teach us about the design of technologically enhance learning experiences and environments. Also, how might we integrate gaming experiences into learning? Lastly, on this note, it is important to consider the potential for students to design games; this is an instance of narrative.
Malafouris, L. and Renfrew, C. (2010) Introduction The Cognitive Life of Things. In: L. Malafouris & C. Renfrew (Eds.), The Cognitive Life of Things: Recasting the boundaries of the mind. (pp. 1-12). Cambridge, UK: University of Cambridge.
As my new research proposal outlines, it is difficult for me to consider educational technology without thinking also of the theory of the extended mind. While I learned of this through my studies of anthropology (hence the reference to Malafouris and Renfrew) it is more central to the analytical philosophers of mind such as Clark (2008). This is significant for both cautionary interests in neuroscience as well as thoughtful consideration of distributed cognition and collaborative learning. My students are using extended mind theory most creatively in the field to inform their observations of technology integration. To this end, I have them reading Martin (2012) and Salomon, et.al. (2005) which are both linked below.
Martin, L. (2012). Connection, Translation, Off-Loading, and Monitoring: A Framework for Characterizing the Pedagogical Functions of Educational Technologies. Technology, Knowledge & Learning, 17(3), 87-107.
Salmon, G. & Perkins, D. (2005)”Do Technologies Make Us Smarter? Intellectual Amplification With, Of and Through Technology.” In: Robert Sternberg and David Preiss (Eds.).Intelligence and Technology: The Impact of Tools on the Nature and Development of Human Abilities. Mahwah, NJ : Lawrence Erlbaum and Associates, Publishers. pp. 71-86.
The Martin, et.al (2012) article about mobile learning is nothing special; I include it here because it is on my students’ reading list. In relation to mobile learning, I think of the possibilities for integrating smart phones and iPads into learning mostly for the scaling potential. By this I mean the same learning experience can travel home in the car with the child as he plays with his mother’s smart phone, engage the child on an iPad or on a SmartBoard. Significantly, the way I am teaching this with WordPress, teachers can develop mobile Apps on the fly and just in time for class and then at home.
Rose, G. (2007) Visual methodologies : an introduction to the interpretation of visual materials. Chapter Five: Semiology: Laying bare the prejudices beneath the smooth surface of the beautiful. Thousand Oaks, CA : Sage Publications. pp. 74-98.
I have been a student of visual culture, including semiotics, for a very long time. This literature is enormously significant as we engage in the difficult challenge of guiding teachers from traditional print literacy to multimodal literacy. Along the way, a focus on the design of visual images is essential. Gillian Rose (2007) is excellent but I would rather focus on visual rhetoric. Unfortunately, finding the right readings that focus on design and the production of visual images in relation to visual rhetoric is proving to be most difficult. Stay tuned! So, I combine this essay with an introduction to multimodal literacy by Takayoshi and Selfe (2007).
Multimodal literacy and visual design inform the possibilities of student-produced digital stories or multimodal compositions. Yes, while it is crucial that our students understand how meaning is made in multimodal texts including decoding, interpretation and analysis skills, an understanding of the grammar and rhetoric of multimodal composition, learned through student production of digital stories, is a significant 21st century skill. As educators, one of the key issues tripping up the turn to multimodal production is assessment. Without the knowledge of effective multimodal communications, assessment is reduced to an emphasis on textual elements.
Ohler, J. (2013) Confessions of a Digital Storytelling Teacher: Twenty Revelations about Digital Storytelling in Education. In: Digital Storytelling in the Classroom: New Media Pathways to Literacy, Learning and Creativity. Thousand Oaks, CA : Corwin. Chapter 1, pp. 2-15.
Shutkin, D. (2013). Becoming the future: The Lake Highlands Middle School laptop and learning initiative. In N. Selwyn & K. Facer (Eds.), The politics of education and technology: Conflicts, controversies, and connections (pp. 63-82). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
In this article, Prensky reminds us how schools are designed for everyone but the children interned within their sterile walls. As I write about in Becoming the Future (Shutkin, 2013) all our efforts to integrate technology will do little to advance the learning of children if the children are not involved in the design of their own education. Technology is no more a tonic than it is just a tool. Still, their is a crisis of relevance in our schools and technology can be part of the solution. Not that we are to manipulate the motivations of our students with a spoonful of technology but with our new technologies our collective relations to what can be known are shifting dramatically. At the same time, just because a student can Google the causes of the formation of Israel doesn’t mean that she doesn’t need to study and analyze the causes. With that said, I would imagine that this crisis of relevance could be readily addressed by studying the present circumstances of being Jewish today in North America and relating these circumstances, in a reiterative way, to everything studied, if not in a day school, than certainly in supplemental Jewish schools?
Shutkin, D. (Forthcoming, 2015) The Lake Highlands One to One Laptop Initiative: NCLB, Drill & Practice and the Formation of a Relational Network. In: (Eds.) C. Bigum, S. Bulfin and N. Johnson. Critical Perspectives on Technology and Education. New York : Palgrave Macmillan.