Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Literacy, the Net and Connecticut

I have been spending the night with in comfort and splendour at Don Leu's home, spoiled by him and his friendly and caring wife Debbie. Now I am with the Connecticut New Literacies research group, listening in on their conference call. The people I have been meeting face to face today are, apart from Don, who has been entertaining me with a stream of comments about boats, fishing and the amazing world of mobile computer technology, Julie Coiro, Athena Lentini and Kent Golden (who solved my embarassingly simple connection issue in two minutes).

Their discussion is mainly on methodology, and I am shutting up and listening, as this is not my project. But I love the work this group is doing, which is concerned with learning how students/pupils actually use the internet. Not just if they find what they are looking for, but how they search, how they read, how well they work on this. They are coming up with som controversial findings, like how low achievers on regular reading score much better on readng online.

This ties into some of the things I have seen hinted at, but never truly explored in gaming. A lot of the gamers do not think of themselves as high achievers in regular teaching situations, but they are, in fact, brilliant gamers.

So is this because they are interested in the game, because they have too high resistance to other types of learning, or does the net really offer alternative reading strategies which the low achievers can utilize better? I know I will watch the work of this group further. And if I somehow could couple this work with the work Melissa Federoff introduced at Women in Games in Dundee... I don't know at this moment where it might go, are there limits?

And on the meta level - while they are discussing how to set up and use weblogs in research, I am blogging the discussion. I just could not resist.

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