Monday, July 23

Planning for Neomillennial Learning Styles

Link to article (By Chris Dede)
"Shifts in students? learning style will prompt a shift to active construction of knowledge through mediated immersion"
Rapid advances in information technology are reshaping the learning styles of many students in higher education...Over the next decade, three complementary interfaces to information technology will shape how people learn:

  • The familiar world to the desktop interface, providing access to distant experts and archives and enabling collaborations, mentoring relationships, and virtual communities of practice. This interface is evolving through initiatives such as Internet2.
  • Alice-in-Wonderland multiuser virtual environment (MUVE) interfaces, in which participants? avatars interact with computer-based agents and digital artifacts in virtual contexts. The initial stages of studies on shared virtual environments are characterized by advances in Internet games and work in virtual reality.
  • Interfaces for ubiquitous computing, in which mobile wireless devices infuse virtual resources as we move through the real world. The early stages of augmented reality interfaces are characterized by research on the role of smart objects and intelligent contexts in learning and doing.

Based on mediated immersion, these emerging learning styles include:

  • Fluency in multiple media and in simulation-based virtual settings Communal learning involving diverse, tacit, situated experience, with knowledge distributed across a community and a context as well as within an individual
  • A balance among experiential learning, guided mentoring, and collective reflection
  • Expression through nonlinear, associational webs of representations
  • Co-design of learning experiences personalized to individual needs and preferences

Many faculty will find such a shift in instruction difficult, but through professional development they can accommodate neomillennial learning styles to continue teaching effectively as the nature of students evolves..."

Yes, this is another explosive article promoting multiuser virtual environments (MUVE) in education, which we should digest to the fullest. Utilizing MUVE can facilitate a more experiential, interactive, and dynamic e-learning environment, enabling us to interact and collectively learn and construct knowledge with people (avatars) or experts from every corner of the earth. For me, I would first like to discuss some issues with Chris Dede (author of this article) or his avatar, so I can learn from his research about MUVE (beyond this article). Then I will go after Bill Gates and ask him point-blank, "why don't you participate more in the open source evolution, and make your Microsoft Office products open source and free (at least to all schools, colleges, and universities around the world), etc.

Yes, I am already getting immersed! Let's research this area collectively and make Malaysian higher education truely immersive!

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