Design of Networked Media


Identity and identification is a function of power; the essence of any inclusive group is based on the exclusion of “the Other” group. I believe that some communities are created to include others and have nothing to do with excluding a specific population. As my friends and I say when the topic comes up (e.g., men complaining that all women colleges are sexist for excluding them): “It’s not about you. It’s all about us.”

“Thick” Authenticity & Workifying Games

These two readings complement one another in their support of authentic learning experiences that can be applied, adapted, and meaningful for learners. Workifying Games outlines a study done to engage African American male gamers with computer science concepts through video game playing and testing. “Thick” Authenticity establishes a context within which to understand the importance of measuring and reiterating effective educational processes.

.tech and i go way back

My relationship with technology is intimate and deeply integrated in my thinking and view of the world around me.

In the mid-1990s, my mother started a company called CompuKidz, teaching children how to use computers. She recognized that technology would shape the future and we can best leverage that shift by supporting computer education for children. There was always a computer in our house loaded with creative games and educational programs. I would type stories for hours and then design accompanying illustrations. By the time my elementary school offered a computer class, I was already bored with the introductions. Didn’t everyone’s fingers glide across the keyboard without looking? Who needed help turning the computer on and finding Oregon Trail? Didn’t everyone have a computer in their house that they could use after their homework was done? The answer, I found, was no.

Cognitive Tutors

In this reading, the authors advocate for cognitive tutors: educational software that complements classroom learning. As the authors state, individual tutoring is the most successful teaching method, but it is logistically infeasible to assign every student a personal tutor to guide them through instruction. This challenge is a driving proponent of the cognitive tutor method.

Research Methods for Community Change

In this chapter, Stoecker explains the goose approach, named after flocks of geese flying in unison towards a destination. In this method, researchers perform research with communities, rather than on them. The motivating factor in this method is giving back and enriching the community instead of exploiting them for scientific gain. I am conflicted on participatory research; on one hand I believe it is good and on another I believe it is an unsustainable scientific method.