Thursday, September 06, 2007

Paradoxical future of digital learning

One of my doctoral students, Pat Parish, referred me to this reading:

Warschauer, Mark. (2007). The paradoxical future of digital learning. Learning Inquiry, 1, 41-49. Online:

It's a short, thoughtful reflection on the claims of learning related to new media. First time I had encountered Mark Warschauer, so I went looking for other articles. He has a faculty website at UC-Irvine, but links to his papers are all broken.

A couple of ideas I took from the paper:

- New literacies. New literacies like information literacy and media literacy often DEPEND on prior traditional literacy. Just sending kids to the computer and expecting magic to happen - will only aggravate the differences between already-literate kids and those lacking fundamental skills. We need to find ways to SIMULTANEOUSLY teach traditional and media literacies.

- The teacher's role. A major Internet-based science project called Network Science found that, without strong guidance from a local teacher in the classroom, kids don't think critically or relectively on their work. Again, just putting kids on the computer isn't enough.