Barab et al. discuss the potential of underlying social agendas that can inform design-based research and instruction. The authors argue that design researchers and educators should focus on the consequences of their actions. Employing an ethnographic methodology, they elaborate on how Quest Atlantis, a design project intended to be both “innovative and normative,” was developed. Using this example, the authors discuss how to design a project guided by positive social outcomes.
Borgman, C. L., Abelson, H., Dirks, L., Johnson, R., Koedinger, K. R., Linn, M. C., et al. (2008). Fostering Learning in the Networked World: The Cyberlearning Challenge and Opportunity. A 21st Century Agenda for the National Science Foundation Report of the NSF Task Force on Cyberlearning.
In this report, the authors propose strategies and opportunities for the National Science Foundation (NSF). Some issues or challenges faced by NSF, as discussed by the authors, are: true availability of open educational resources, the abundance of data and teaching students and teachers how to manage it, and wide recognition through funding research and education. Recommendations include: promote cross-disciplinarian communities of cyber-learning researchers and practitioners, install shared designs of hardware into learning activities, emphasize/promote information and communications technology for learning, adopt programs and policies to promote open educational resources, and take responsibility for NSF-sponsored cyber-learning innovations.
In this report, Davidson and Goldberg focus on the potential for shared and interactive learning made possible by the Internet. They argue that the single most important characteristic of the Internet is its capacity for worldwide community and the limitless exchange of ideas. They argue that the Internet brings about a way of learning that is not new, nor is it revolutionary; but it is now the norm for today's graduating high school and college classes. It is for this reason that Davidson and Goldberg call on us to examine potential new models of digital learning and rethink our virtually enabled and enhanced learning institutions.
Ito, M., Horst, H., Bittanti, M., Boyd, D., Herr-Stephenson, B., Lange, P. G., et al. (2008). Living and Learning with New Media: Summary of Findings from the Digital Youth Project. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Reports on Digital Media and Learning. The MIT Press.
Ito et al. discuss findings from the Digital Youth Project, a three-year ethnographic research initiative funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The initiative explored respondents’ participation in the new media “ecology.” Researchers found that students use online spaces as a way to connect with others outside their communities’ boundaries and share their work. In addition, this type of outlet engages students and enables them freedom to explore new ways of learning. The authors imply that educators should incorporate social and recreational new media, as well as peer involvement, into the curriculum, while recognizing the unique cultural needs of today’s youth.
Researchers aimed to understand the relationship between video games developed to encourage civic responsibility and student engagement. They found that students who play these video games are not necessarily less civically engaged. In contrast, students’ gaming experiences modeled their civic engagement and fueled their interest in civics. In conclusion, the authors advocated for the incorporation of civic video games as a means to engage students’ civic responsibility.
Kelly, F. S., McCain, T. D. E., & Jukes, I. (2009). Teaching the Digital Generation: No More Cookie-Cutter High Schools. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
This resource examines how educators can address the learning needs of secondary students who are immersed in a digital world by designing and implementing new instructional models and technology infrastructure. This author explores ten alternative high school models that address 21st century skills.
Leach, Jenny. (2006) . "Is There a Role for Information and Communication Technologies in Rural Schools and Their Communities?" Digital Education Enhancement Project, Open University and Unit for Rural Schooling and Development, Nelson Mandela Foundation.
This article discusses how those using ICT in international contexts usually end up in one of two camps. The first views technology with disdain and total skepticism, and the second views technology as the tool that will help rural schools jump to the top of the development heap. Leach et al. balance arguments for technology integration in rural contexts (such as information access and equity) with arguments against it (such as technology's recurring and hidden costs, its recolonizing possibilities, and lack of needed local infrastructure). Eight key "roots" are proposed for ICT implementation, especially with professional development, to ensure success: personal access, appropriate technologies, real purpose, professional networks and role models, extended practice, critical understanding of the role of technology in learning, technical support, and public affirmation/feedback.
Pea, R. D., & Maldonado, H. (2006). WILD for Learning: Interacting Through New Computing Devices Anytime, Anywhere. In K. Sawyer (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences (pp. 427-441). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
In this chapter, Pea et al. summarize the learning, education, social, policy, and technical contexts for the development of Wireless Interactive Learning Devices (WILD), small handheld wireless networked computing devices used for learning. They contend that this technology can reach otherwise unreachable students, and that it can add to classroom dynamics and to learning in the world.
Salen and Zimmerman’s essay discusses the importance of meaningful play and how game designers can use this concept in their designs. The authors emphasize that meaningful play occurs as the game player makes choices and experiences outcomes. Furthermore, the authors contend that “the goal of successful game design is the design of meaningful play.” Examples provided further emphasize how elements of meaningful play can be incorporated into game design and beyond.
This article reflects on an online debate forum that discusses how to best plan and implement Education For All goals through ICT use. The debate covers topics of ICT's role more generally, but also considers specific topics of technical use and cost in relation to pedagogy and content.
Siegle, Del. "Using Media and Technology with Gifted Learners." 68P, Prufrock Press, 2005.
As technology has become an everyday part of education in the 21st century, it is now imperative that students become technologically literate by knowing what technology is, how it works, and how it can be put to use to attain goals. In this book, the author answers a series of critical questions regarding technology and learning.
This article is aimed at establishing a basis for understanding how Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) can contribute to cognition, learning mechanisms, and the ways in which participation shapes players. In order to establish this basis, researchers use the cognitive ethnographic method to explore the “socially and materially distributed cognitive practices that constitute the game.” Preliminary findings from this ongoing study show that respondents thrive in a collaborative, unstructured gaming environment. In addition, this article shows that when respondents fail, they are encouraged to continue; in this way, “failure functions as feedback.” Finally, this study finds that MMOGs encourage student motivation and a sense of wonder that precedes scientific inquiry.
The rich world that players are creating in MMPGs (massively multiplayer games) provides an interesting lens to view the potential of new education platforms and theory. A learning theory that focuses on the attributes of MMPGs (dispositions, conceptual blends, and networked imaginations) is presented as a way to view the world of the multiplayer games. The group focus on overcoming a shared problem displayed in these games presents new opportunities for understanding how to approach collective action for civic or group good. Additionally, MMPGs provide a lens into the potential future of the workplaces and societies of tomorrow.
Trucano analyzes and explains the background of the Bridgeit program in Tanzania and looks at the origin of the project by examining text2teach in the Philippines. Much of the success of the program can be attributed to the pedagogical approach used in professional development rather than simply the technology used to implement it. Trucano concludes that the professional development portion of the program will be the most long-lasting and sustainable, while the technology will only (but importantly) serve as the tool that gains most of the headlines. The article stresses the lack of a "silver bullet" in technology.