Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New Digital Media and Learning as an Emerging Area and New Digital Media and Learning as an Emerging Area and "Worked Examples" as One Way Forward by James Paul Gee

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The start of this book seemed like academic navel gazing, but he's clearly coming from a much more complex understanding of the evolution of what I know now as Digital Media and Learning. At present I'm much more interested in the work, than how the work is defined.
But the book is short and lucid, teaches me about literacies and and gets to the point: an exemplar, or worked example looking at Yu-Gi-Oh! and complex language. He breaks down the language on the cards, showing the complexity specialist language needed to understand them - and if you're playing you need to understand them quickly. And he suggests these are useful skills for learning, pointing to some literacy studies.
While he see's Yu-Gi-Oh! as an example of convergent media I think it's basically a card game - predating, I think, much of the web. Which argues that gaming in itself can be a great learning tool, outside of digital media. I think one reason why these games work is that they are played socially, competitively. The social dynamic makes a tremendous difference to their effectiveness. Would they work as well played alone? Can the computer act as an effective opponent?
Fun stuff and I'm off to read more!

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