Computers and Education: Teaching Virtuality
Between Reality and the Virtual:
Education in the 21st Century
23 June 2008
(notes for a talk in the Computer Science Education Summer Institute)
Questions to start
- What role do computers and the internet/web play in education today?
- What role will they play in the future?
- What role should they play?
- Your thoughts ...
- Real world versus virtual worlds
- Computing/internet web: adjuncts to traditional education versus opening for new/better educational practices
- Education as mastery versus education as development of inquiry skills
- Optical illusions: seeing as "informed guessing"
- Ambiguous figures: changing the guesses
- Learning to challenge the guess
- Perception, understanding as challengeable "stories"
- Impossible figures: using the ability to challenge to make new things
- Implications for education
- Understanding is different, will be achieved differently in different people
- Understanding needs to be created, not absorbed
- Requirement for open-ended, transactional inquiry as classroom mode
- Seeing what could not otherwise be seen
- Distributed systems, emergence, implications for classroom practice
- An example
- Observe, wonder, create story, test, use to imagine new questions
- Some additional examples
- Strengths and limitations of computer modelling
- The line between reality and the virtual is becoming, will continue to become increasingly blurred
- Students need (have always needed?) to acquire increased sophistication in working in the space between reality and the virtual ... in virtuality
- Computers and virtual worlds have an important role to play in enhancing such sophistication
- Computer models, like any other subject of exploration, need to be approached as incentives for inquiry rather than as answers