Week #13

digital-literacy
Steinkuehler, C. (2010). Video games and digital literacies. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy. doi:10.1598/JAAL.54.1.7

 

In her 2010 journal article,entitled Video Games and digital literacies, Dr.Steinkuehler makes the case for video games as a form of digital literacy,  explains the ingrained and symbiotic value of the narrative which runs behind many games, the body of work and high amount of energy which many “gamers” channel into learning about and or teach other about the gaming world and also goes on to identify a sort of gender divide between adolescents where some adolescent boys who excel at video games and because of gaming’s bad reputation as being low value  may mistakenly categorized as having low ability in the standard curriculum when rather it a low interest in the curriculum.

Dr. Steinkuehler article addresses a very charged discussion point and research question and educational issue concerning video games and their place if any in the contemporary k-12 educational system. Unfortunately her discourse on the subject is very brief and the journal article only profiles a single subject’s reported experience where most notably on the standard curriculum he read 3 level  grade levels below his grade and on the subject of games he was interested in he was 4 levels above his peers. While the difference in ability is shocking and a fascination subject for further investigation, her journal article does not address the core issue of why the difference had occured, or what might be done about it. These are the tough and rigorous questions and Dr. Chris Dede’s 2011 framework entitled, “Research Agenda for Educational Games and Simulations” proposes an approach for addressing the research problem. He proposes that  by marshaling resources in an organized fashion and in a five part approach, building 1.)usable knowledge; 2.) performing collective  research 3.) determining what works 4.)determining when it works  and 5.)determining for whom it works real solutions are possible. If a frame work like this one is effective then solutions that engage students who are intelligent but for one reason or another are not adequately focused may be possible.

This journal article is of extremely high importance to DET scholars and the academy as a whole because games continue to play be important t0 adolescent boys (perhaps children generally) and understanding that some students have high ability and low interest in the traditional curriculum may mean it is time to reconsider what is traditional and how to still effectively measure ability without immediately and universally equating a lack of interest in a subject as a lack of ability to do any similar work, or any work of high quality.

Week #14

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Chris Dede. Developing a Research Agenda for Educational Games and
Simulations, 2011, Harvard University, Computer games and instruction, pp. 233-250. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

 In his 2011 blog entitled: “Developing a Research Agenda for Educational Games and simulations”, Harvard university research Professor Chris Dede advances a multidimensional framework for guiding substantive research on the effectively researching educational games and simulations. Mr. Dede suggests that there are five components required for an effective research agenda. He lists them as: 1.)usable knowledge; 2.)collective  research 3.) what works 4.) when 5.) for whom.

Dr. Dede’s blog is very effective in identifying some of the key deliverables that stakeholders will require whether they are investors in, or consumers of the end product. Dr. Dede makes a critical point when he states, “many of these studies are summative evaluations masquerading as research.” and “(even) when all these (research) problems are overcome, often the population in the study is narrow, the teacher characteristics are optimal, or the context is unrepresentative; each of these generates major threats to generalizability. He instead propose a “distributed research” approach to large problems where, “funders could create portfolios in which
various studies cover different portions of this sophisticated scholarly
territory, with complementary research outcomes enabling full
coverage and collective theory-building.”

Dr. Dede’s proposed research agenda  for educational game and simulation research has direct and significant value and application for the academy which is educational technology because the rigor of the challenge to  which core research question are subject is ultimately because as Dr. Dede states, “evaluation studies are a poor place to stop in research on an innovation and should be only a small part of a research agenda, not the preponderance of work, as they typically do not contribute much to
theory and do not provide nuanced understandings of what works, when, for whom, and under what conditions.” If  educational technology is to take its place as meaningful contributor in the modern educational arena it must prove itself in a lasting and substantive way that has ongoing value for both the instructors and the students who are trying to navigate through a very rapidly evolving environment.

 

Week #12 Post

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R Nesson; C Nesson. The Case for Education in Virtual Worlds. Space and Culture. 2008, DOI: 10.1177/1206331208319149

In their 2008 journal article the authors examine the potential and actual influence of virtual online environments for supporting meaningful and effective opportunities for distance learning and supply anecdotal observations recorded from work in Cyber One, Harvard University’s virtual online learning environment hosted on the platform called “Second Life” and housed in a space called “Berkman Island.”

The study is marginally effective in making the case for the value of Virtual Worlds (Second Life) specifically in Education because it is ethnographically based as opposed to quantitatively or qualitatively supported. Furthermore, it lacks the traditional literature review and evidentitary references that establish the validity and reliability of the premises presented at the onset of the article. This particular journal article has only seven (7) bibliographical references in the appendix, and 3 of the 7 are references to mainstream news articles vs. classic research on the subject of virtual worlds in support of educational objectives.

The journal article has anecdotal value for the academy concerned with the development of educational technology because virtual worlds are part of the range of platforms that may possibly extend the reach and influence of educational technology and add legitimacy in they eyes of all who are stakeholders. As reported by the authors in the conclusion of their article, “With attention to the particular qualities of virtual spaces and modes of interaction and creative and open minds, we can avoid the pitfalls of clumsy applications of the technology and use it to move beyond the limitations of the real-world constraints of space and physics.” Overcoming the limitations of real-world constraints of space and physics was one of the original reward of distance learning and according to Nesson and Nesson virtual platforms such as “Second life” have very real potential to make the goal achievable.

Week #11

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Peggy A Ertmer; et al. Using Peer Feedback to Enhance the Quality of Student Online Postings: An Exploratory Study. Journal of Computer‐Mediated Communication. 2007, DOI: 10.1111/j.1083-6101.2007.00331.x

In their 2007 journal article the authors review feedback as a tool for improving high level thinking and idea creation in a web-mediated environments. In the opening paragraphs the authors reference some of the prevailing thinking on the subject which is that, “according to Lang (cited in Black, 2005), good discussion, whether online or face-to-face, engages participants in a ‘‘dialogical process that leads to increasingly sound, well grounded, and valid understandings of a topic or issue’’ (n.p.).  The authors proceed to describe the  structure and results of the study they designed to examine the effects of peer feedback both given  by students and received by students.

The study is effective in describing how feedback has worked  in traditional Face-To-Face learning environments and how attitudes must change about feedback if it is to realize its full potential as an effective tool in high ordering thinking in web-mediated environments. Having read Drost’s 2011 journal article entitled, “Validity and reliability in social science research” It was easy to spot some of the study’s shortcomings such as a reference to face validity as being the result of using Bloom’s taxonomy,  relatively short duration for conducting experiment, a small population of subjects and no clarification about whether the questions developed for the feedback were the right questions.

This particular journal article has limited application to my  current work as a Health Care Compliance Training Manager because the adult learners I work with are required to do mandatory training and have a limited amount of time to complete it. The Learning Management Platform facilitates feedback at the end of each learning module for the system administrators, but the feedback is uni-directional and does not help employees in the same way as the feedback both given and received by student engaged in the task of writing better posts as part of an online class.

Week #9 Post

Web Literacy.jpeg

Michael DeSchryver. Web‐Mediated Knowledge Synthesis for Educators .Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy. 2015, DOI: 10.1002/jaal.373

In his 2015 journal article Dr. DeSchryver presents skill recommendations and guidance for more effective high-level use of  the”ubiquitous information”available on the internet recognizing that developing the ability to do high level thinking and processing of information may well become among the most important literary skill for teachers to teach and students to learn in the  21st Century.

This journal article recounts the steps that lead to the development of the Theory of Web-Mediated Knowledge Synthesis.  The researchers first step was a literature review that, looked at  synthesis, “operationalized  in  educational  psychology  (e.g.,  Bloom  &  Krathwohl, 1956  ); reading comprehension (e.g., Duke & Pearson, 2002  ;  Dole  et  al.,    1991  );  hypertext  and  Web-  based reading (e.g., Leu et al., 2011  ); Cognitive Flexibility Theory  (e.g.,  Spiro  &  Jehng,    1990  );  and  creativity
(e.g., Csikszentmihalyi,   1997  ; Sternberg,   1988) provided the basis for a dichotomous definition of synthesis. The second step engaged ,” a  multiple  case  study  of  advanced learners using the Web for ill-  structured reading-  to-
learn and reading-  to-  do tasks.” The two steps together provide the foundation for, ” The  theory  [which] provides  a  road map  for  continued research in this rapidly evolving area, but  also informs the design of better ways of learning by  providing “the right level of analysis in order to bridge  the gap between description and design” (Mishra &  Koehler,   2006  , p. 29)”

This journal article has direct value and application to my work and studies because effective research on educational technology subjects and topics such as “gamification” and “learning management systems” and “healthcare corporate compliance will probably need to use divergent keyword search techniques in order to, “contribute to producing generative synthesis of ideas. See Theory  of  Web-  Mediated  Knowledge  Synthesis  (DeSchryver, 2012,2015). It is the synthesis of ideas and information that will be the main way to, as Dr. DeShryver postulates,  “[Add]  value  by  generating  knowledge based on the information provided on the Web.”

Week #10 Post

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Michael DeSchryver. Higher Order Thinking in an Online World: Toward a Theory of Web-Mediated knowledge Synthesis.Teachers College Record, 2015,Volume (14) 1-44

In his 2015 journal article Dr. DeSchryver presents his proto-theory for synthesis  and effective high-leveling processing of information retrieved from information sources on the internet.  Dr. DeSchryver undertakes this project by first selectively and sequentially reviewing and stepping through scholarly literature from educational psychology, reading comprehension, hypertext and web-based reading, cognitive flexibility, and creativity. Based on the gathered information, he develops his own theory of web mediated information synthesis. Then, finally the author applies a 3 part synthesis paradigm to the work and methods used by learners with demonstrated advanced skill, technique and understanding of advanced information retrieval system available for information retrieval from the internet which results in a further expansion and refinement of the core theories underpinning his own.

The author identifies the intended audience for this work early and clearly in this journal article. The audience is the collective of anyone and everyone who uses the internet for any kind of research. The author cites scholars who report, “We live in an “age of complexity” (Schwab), for which new ways of thinking about thinking  are required. These  trends  have  far-reaching  implications.  Web  users  can  take  advantage of the ubiquity of the Internet, the well directedness of search,  and  the  “ambient  findability”  (Morville, 2005)  of  a  seemingly  unlimited  scope  of  information  to  harness  an  unprecedented  adjunct  to  human memory.”

The journal article has significant value directly and immediately for students and instructors affiliated with the academy of educational technology and equally significance for the broader, rapidly expanding global population of individuals who use the internet for either personal or professional purposes. The author cites a range of applications including, “nutritional choices (Gunther, 2011), to healthcare options (Thaler  &  Sunstein,  2008),  to  retirement  savings  decision  making  (Blaufus  & Ortlieb,  2009),  to  prescription  drug  plan  choices  (Hanoch,  Wood, Barnes, Liu, & Rice, 2011), individuals need to know how to harness the power of web-based content to make informed decisions in their lives.” A purpose built proto-theory for synthesizing information which is ubiquitously available and has stable underpinnings built upon and above existing theories of information synthesis has significant apparent value for furthering the acquisition of applicable knowledge in the domain of new literacy research inside the educational technology field.