Jul 8, 2008

Highlight: Gavin McLean's Blog;

One of my favorite blogs is Gavin McLean's Global Mantra: "Using Media in education, Fostering Media Literacy, Music Technology, Games in Education, Arts Technology & Music".

In his June 9th post, Gavin discusses his experience using Stimulated Recall in his research. To explain the concept of stimulated recall, Gavin quotes Dr. John Edwards:

"The way we get this data is by using a technique called stimulated recall (Marland: 1984, O'Brien: 1993). A video camera placed at the back of the room follows the teacher wherever the teacher goes. A second camera at the front of the room is focused on the children we are studying, and a microphone is placed so that the talk of both students and teacher is recorded. The two images are put through a video mixer so that both appear on the same screen. At the end of the lesson we make rapid copies of that split screen tape and use it to interview individual children about what they were thinking during the lesson."

Basically, from the student's perspective, traditional teachers are teaching from the "sea of blah". We all have experienced it. "Blah, blah blah, blahhhh, blah BLAHH". This brings to mind the voice of the teacher in the Charlie Brown specials- "wanhh wawwh wanhh waahhh wah.." What really is going on in the minds of "learners" when the teacher is speaking?

Gavin takes the concept of stimulated recall to the next level, to perform a social-cultural analysis of teens playing a multi-player game, as part of his research. While doing so, Gavin applied principles developed by James Gee, outlined in his book, "What Video Games have to teach us about Learning and Literacy" , to the interactions and transactions of the players.

Gavin's initial findings are fascinating, and make sense, if you are a gamer, or if you have spent a significant amount of time seriously observing a child or teen play a challenging game.

For more about Gavin's research in this area, take the time to read his June 9th post - You might need to scroll down the page to find it. While you are there, take a look at more of his blog!

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