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Media in Transition / Modes of Learning call session

I’m here at the Media in Transition conference at MIT. What follows will be my unfiltered notes from these events.

9:00-10:300 Session: “Modes of Learning”


Storytelling as a Method for Teaching Research Methods

Storytelling to convey complex ideas in non-complex way?

Why? Entertaining.

Break ice
Does not replace analytical thinking


Remixing + Transforming science-tech-society materials into an e-learning software

STS movement in teaching science

Formosa Hope game : Food + science

> 100 scientific concepts

Player makes decision to engage in the learning — this is the element of play (?)


Virtual Leader 2007

Educational simulations when they interpret reality rather than try to reproduce it. Simulations about learning, not the simulation.

Alllows participants to make mistakes + review in real-time

In particular, active listening + communications

“Practiceware for People Skills” : Game uses avatars to model interactions. Player learns own preferred style but also sees different scenarios where other styles are more successful (e.g. fail when using preferred directive styles when cooperative necessary).

Virtual leader proven effective:
increased positive/reduced negative behaviors (would be curious to see how these are evaluated — live, from employees, from self-assessment? emph. on performance vs. on cognition?)

Playfulness allows taking of risk. Virtual Leader teaching more dynamic skills. (Not sure how — did not see the dynamics of the game. Seems to be based on branching story lines — can that really convey these skills? Compare against teams playing against a computer model which relies in real interactions among real people rather than against a simplified computer avatar).



Q: Does Virtual Leader require creators to know what is best practice? “Who’s writing the play?”

A: “Believe me, the design of that is very in-depth. It’s random… It’s very complex.”

Q: “Who is defining leadership?”

There isn’t a right answer to what is good civic engagement.

If bloggers see what they’re doing as a public activity, search engines are a private mechanism… should Google’s algorythm be a public good?


I would challenge that avatars are capable of teaching body language…What’s the transference from the virtual to the actual? When I writing for the machine vs. writing for people?

Are people writing for Google or using Google as a metaphor for something else… There’s a trend towards kids not understanding or reading social signals, though they are good at a variety of signlas e.g. instant messenger.

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