① The Role Of Technology In American Culture

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The Role Of Technology In American Culture

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The Best Examples of American Culture (chosen by YOU)

Muscovites pay less than 10 euros for unlimited 4G. This leapfrogging changes cultural heritage; using the latest technology that previous generations did not have changes mind sets. There are also discrepancies between developed and non-developed parts of countries that need to be taken into account when looking at statistics. I was reading an article that reported 52 percent of Russian people said if they did not have the Internet tomorrow, it would not change their lives. Yet there are , software developers in Russia. This is a huge paradox. There are initiatives, in which Orange is helping, to address this. It supports the Digital India program, for example, which was launched to digitally empower Indian people.

At the same time, Orange Healthcare is working on m-health solutions in Africa, where 62 percent of the population resides in rural areas. These solutions will bring critical services to the people. Technology and culture directly influence each other. As cultures change, so does the technology it innovates. Much of this is for the greater good. It is, for example, a massive aid to global communication.

But we must not forget how to talk face-to-face and the impact it can have in crossing the cultural divide. Find out how Orange Business Services puts the human at the heart of digital transformation. He has extensive leadership experience in the IT and telecommunications industries — both in services and equipment manufacturing — and holds degrees from Groningen State Polytechnics and the University of North Carolina. Richard has lived in Russia for more than 10 years and speaks fluent Russian. Technology is changing every aspect of our lives. The benefits provided by new digital approaches are having a huge impact on our societies.

However, one of the greatest business challenges is not about the devices, software or solutions — it is about how we manage the process of cultural change. In , Wentworth and Lewis summarized the findings from nearly fifty research studies on learning through gaming: "In the majority of these studies, students did neither significantly better nor worse than other learning experiences in their impact on student achievement as evidenced by paper and pencil scores. Consistent with contemporary instructional design theory e. Specifically, how the game is contextualized, the kinds of cooperative and collaborative learning activities embedded in gameplay, and the quality and nature of debriefing are all critically important elements of the gaming experience.

This tradition of games and simulations in instructional technology, chiefly promulgated through the The Society for the Advancement of Games and Simulations in Education and Training and the Sage journal Simulation and Gaming has resulted in a rich body of practical knowledge about designing effective games to support learning; however, there is actually very little agreement among educational technologists as to the theoretical underpinnings of why we should use games, how games should be designed to support learning, or in what instructional situations games make the most sense Gredler, The research on games and simulations in education cautions against overexhuberance about the potential of digital games to transform education.

In using a game such as SimCity, minimally, there needs to be a close match among desired learning outcomes, available computer and supporting human resources, learner characteristics such as familiarity with games conventions , "educational" game play, and potential supplementary learning experiences. Fortunately, one can imagine creating instructional resources around a game like SimCity or Civilization that pushes students to think about their game-playing more deeply. For example, Civilization players might create maps of their worlds and compare them to global maps from the same time period.

Why are they the same? Why are they different? Students might be required to critique the game and explicitly address built-in simulation biases. Finally, students might draw timelines, write histories, or create media based on the history of their civilization. Despite these cautions about the potential of games to support learning, games may be the most fully realized educational technology produced to date. Tom Malone showed how games use challenge, fantasy, player control, and curiosity invoking designs to create intrinsically motivating environments. More recently, Lloyd Rieber has argued that digital games engage players in productive play - learning that occurs through building microworlds, manipulating simulations, and playing games.

Rieber gives reason for renewed optimism for using games to support learning in leveraging the increasing power of the computer to immerse the player in interactive simulated worlds. Whereas historically educational games have relied heavily on exogenuous game formulas, games where content is inserted into a generic gaming template, like hangman, a game like SimCity might be thought of as an endogenuous game design, where the academic content is seamlessly integrated with gaming mechanics.

In an endogenuous game, players learn the properties of a virtual world through interacting with its symbology, learning to detect relationships among these symbols, and inferring the game rules that govern the system. While edutainment games such as SimCity and Civilization are intriguing educational materials, the most promising developments in educational gaming might come through games that are explicitly design to support learning. Among these prototypes is: The Jungle of the Optics , a game where players use a set of lenses, telescopes, cameras, optical tools, and optics concepts to solve optics problems within a role-playing environment; Hephaestus , a massively multiplayer resource management game where players learn physics and engineering through designing robots to colonize a planet; Replicate!

The Games-to-Teach team will be developing and testing two of these games in Such games will demand a broad, industry-wide investment if they are to succeed. Long-term, this kind of project requires creative game designers who understand the tools and capabilities of the medium, educators who can help ensure an effective product and visionary thinkers who can design a suite of games that will appeal to a broad market. A primary goal of the Games-to-Teach Project has been to create games that will engage a broad audience of players by creating rich characters, nuanced gameplay, complex social networks, and interactive stories that tap into a broad range of emotions and player experiences.

Hopefully other projects trying different approaches will emerge in the next few years, as there have been signs that perhaps the industry and medium are ready for such a challenge. Understanding and unpacking how learning occurs through game play, examining how gameplay can be used to support learning in formal learning environments, and designing games explicitly to support learning are three areas that educational research can contribute to game studies. In the next section, I argue that socio-cultural learning theory, activity theory, and educational research on transfer are three theoretical traditions that might also be of use to game studies. Although I present each of them from an educational technology perspective, each one is interdiciplinary in origin, sitting at the nexus of anthropology, sociology, cultural psychology, cognitive psychology, and educational studies and for simplicity, will be referred to as the Learning Sciences.

A fundamental tension facing game studies is that if games do not promote or "teach" violence, then how can researchers claim that they might have a lasting impact on students' cognitive development? Far from trivial, this concern touches on many core social science research issues. What are the cultural and social contexts of media consumption? How does - or doesn't - knowledge transfer from one context to the next? Educational discussions of transfer, practice, and social activity offer three promising ways for game studies to think about gameplay as cultural practice. In the early s, E. Thorndike and colleagues e. It works in great detail, adapting itself to the special data of which it has had experience Improvements in any single mental function rarely brings about equal improvement in any other function, no matter how similar, for the working of every mental function group is conditioned by the nature of the data of each particular case" pp.

One classic example of challenges in transferring thinking across contexts is mathematics. Across industrialized nations, most citizens learn the basic skills needed to solve everyday mathematical problems using fractions or Algebra, but most people rarely use but the most simple computational math in their every day lives. Psychologists working constructivist and situated learning traditions argue that human behavior is circumscribed by context e. The purpose of human activity, our goals and intentions, constrain the kinds of information we collect in the environment, and how this information is used Barab, et al. For example, studies have shown that students who learn Algebra through problem-solving are more likely to use Algebra in solving problems than students who learn Algebra through traditional means e.

Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt, Situational constraints also shape and constrain activity. Studies of navigators sailing ships, office workers using computers, and students in classrooms all show how the tools and resources that are available in our environment both guide thinking and constrain actions Solomon, For example, people doing fractions in cooking frequently simplify the problem to make mathematics simpler, or manually divide ingredients using kitchen tools rather than using Algebra. As a result,, people who have learned Algebra become very good at using Algebra to solve textbook-like problems within school situations, but develop very different strategies for solving real-world problems Bransford, et al.

Unfortunately for educators looking to use games to support learning, this skeptical transfer limits what we hope players might learn from gaming. While pundits and theorists suggest that game-playing might be increasing kids critical thinking or problem-solving skills See Katz, ; Prensky, , research on transfer gives very little reason to believe that players are developing skills that are useful in anything but very similar contexts. A skilled Half-Life player might develop skills that are useful in playing Unreal Tournament a very similar game , but this does not mean that players necessarily develop generalizable "strategic thinking" or "planning" skills.

Just because a player can plan an attack or develop a lightning quick reactions in Half-Life does not mean that she can plan her life effectively, or think quickly in other contexts, such as in a debate or in a courtroom - one of the main reasons being that these are two entirely different contexts and demand very different social practices. The particularities of gameplaying as social practice, the contrived and computer-mediated nature of digital game play raise serious questions for educators using gaming to support learning that will transfer across different contexts. What are the goals and intentions of players in gaming environments? Do these overlap with the situational constraints of other social or classroom practices?

Do game players have opportunities to think with authentic tools and resources in gaming environments? Examining gameplay as social practice provides one model for approaching these questions. Anthropologists Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger use the term "practice" to discuss how actions are situated in their socio-cultural contexts. Essentially, a practice is an activity that involves skills, resources, and tools, and is mediated by personal and cultural purposes.

One way to produce more meaningful educational games would be to design games in which players are engaged in richer, more meaningful practices. A game like Civilization III, which involves analyzing geography in order to determine the best geographic location for a city, negotiating trade deals with other civilizations, and making taxation and social spending decisions, comes closer to the kind of meaningful practices educators would like to produce than, say, Half Life. Sasha Barab and Tom Duffy distinguish between practice fields and legitimate participation in social practice. In short, playing Civilization might be a tool that can assist students in understanding social studies, but playing the game is not necessarily participating in historical, political, or geographical analysis.

Therefore, building on our earlier discussion of transfer, there is very good reason to believe that students may not use their understandings developed in the game - such as the political importance of a natural resource like oil - as tools for understanding phenomena outside the game, such the economics behind The Persian Gulf War or contemporary foreign policy, even in a game as rich as Civilization III.

Understanding learning as participation in social practice, however, also suggests ways for educators to transform game playing into participation in social practice. For example, Civilization could be presented as a tool that can be used for answering historical questions, such as why Europeans colonized North America, instead of vice versa, or the comparative advantages and disadvantages of political isolationism. In a hypothetical Civilization III unit, students might spent 25 percent of their time playing the game, and the remainder of the time creating maps, historical timelines, researching game concepts, drawing parallels to historical or current events, or interacting with other media, such as books or videos.

In this way, the educational value of the game-playing experiences comes not from just the game itself, but from the creative coupling of educational media with effective pedagogy to engage students in meaningful practices. As such, the pedagogical value of a medium like gaming cannot be realized without understanding how it is being enacted through classroom use. A generic activity theory system is portrayed in Figure 1.

Subjects are the actors who are selected as the point of view of the analysis. As such, objects can be physical objects, abstracted concepts, or even theoretical propositions. Communities mediate of activity through division of labor and shared norms and expectations. Figure 1: Visual Depiction of an Activity System. Understanding the basic components of an activity system can be a useful way of mapping and categorizing key components of experience. However, for Activity Theorists, it is not the presence of these components in isolation that make for meaningful analysis, but rather, the interactions within among these components.

Primary contradictions are those that occur within a component of a system e. In a situation where Civilization III is used in formal learning environments, one might imagine tensions between winning Civilization III and learning social studies as the object of an activity system, depending on whether the student or the teacher is the subject of the activity system.. Activity Theory offers a theoretical framework with strong intuitive appeal for researchers examining educational games. Learning is conceptualized not as a function of the game itself - or even a simple coupling of the player and game; rather, learning is seen as transformations that occur through the dynamic relations between subjects, artifacts, and mediating social structures.

As games studies matures as a field, no doubt it will draw theoretical concepts from a range of disciplines and research traditions. Thusfar, most social science research around gaming has come from the media effects tradition, leaving a range of other research traditions unrepresented. The impact of digital games on learning and behavior, as conceptualized through researchers in the learning sciences communities is an important, but frequently overlooked area of games studies. My hope is that in the upcoming months, discussions around gaming and cognition will draw upon research in the learning sciences. While I have argued for the value of theoretical positions developing out of cultural psychology, cognitive science, and educational psychology, certainly there is room at the games studies table for other researchers in these fields contributing their theoretical models, as well as researchers from the Humanities, History of Science, Media Studies, and other disciplines.

The author would like to thank Henry Jenkins, Principal Investigator of the Games to Teach Project, for sharing his vision of using educational games to expand the cultural sphere of gaming and his contributions to this paper. The author would also like to thank Alex Chisholm, Co-Producer of our first Games-to-Teach Project prototype on optics, for comments on earlier drafts of the paper. Kurt also co-founded Joystick Pawns of the Game: The Current State of Games-Based Social Science Research In the United States, and increasingly in Europe, games such as Doom or Quake have garnered a disproportionate share of attention in the press, as they have become pawns in a culture war waged by cultural conservatives.

Rethinking the role of Educational and Social Science Research in Digital Gaming Underlying this unease about video game violence research is a growing disconnect between anti-gaming rhetoric and people's actual experiences playing games See Herz, ; Poole, Studying the Impact of Gaming With SimCity more than a decade old, a generation of youth has grown up with edutainment. Games in Educational Contexts Most people assume that games like SimCity are used frequently in geography or urban planning classes. Creating Next-Generation Educational Media Despite these cautions about the potential of games to support learning, games may be the most fully realized educational technology produced to date.

Unpacking Gameplay Through The Learning Sciences A fundamental tension facing game studies is that if games do not promote or "teach" violence, then how can researchers claim that they might have a lasting impact on students' cognitive development? Game-Playing as Social Practice Anthropologists Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger use the term "practice" to discuss how actions are situated in their socio-cultural contexts. Figure 1: Visual Depiction of an Activity System Understanding the basic components of an activity system can be a useful way of mapping and categorizing key components of experience. References Anderson, C.

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Educational Technology 22 9 , Bransford, J. In Iran-Nejad, A. Review of Research in Education. New approaches to instruction: Because wisdom can't be told. Ortony Eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Brown, J. Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational Researcher, 18 1 , Bruckman, A. Community support for constructionist learning. Computer Supported Cooperative Work. Gender Swapping on the Internet. Proceedings of INET, Approaches to managing deviant behavior in virtual communities.

Clegg, A. Games and simulations in social studies education. In Shaver, J. Handbook of research on social studies teaching and learning. New York: Macmillan. Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt. The Jasper series as an example of anchored instruction: Theory, program description, and assessment data. Educational Psychologist , 27 , Cole, M. Cultural psychology: A Once and future discipline.

Cordova, D. Intrinsic motivation and the process of learning: Beneficial effects of contextualization, personalization, and choice. Journal ofEducational Psychology, 88, Cuban, L. Teachers and machines : The classroom use of technology since New York: Teachers College Press. Detterman, D. Transfer on Trial: Intelligence, Cognition, and Instruction. Ablex, Norwood, NJ.

Learning by expanding. Helsinki: Orienta-konsultit. Developmental studies of work as a testbench of activity theory: The case of primary care medical practice. Lave Eds. Understanding practice: Perspectives on activity and context pp. Activity theory and individual and social transformation. Punamaki, Eds. Perspectives on activity theory pp. Freedman, J.

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