Sunday, December 19th, 2004
I’m wondering if Christopher Coonce-Ewing would consider a few scenarios based on some specific issue in history, such as the problem of telling the story of the constitutional convention (how was Broom involved?) or the story of Wilson’s Espionage Act and its implications in a textual environment. T.I.M.E. deals with the sense of place and anomoly–it gets close to the idea of consequential instances in a historical sense: a what if scenario, in other words. But what other constructions are possible?
I think that there are certain misconceptions about teaching that perpetuate negative and stagnant attitudes about education. I’m no expert at this but it seems to me that the classroom is an environment manipulated by the teacher to encourage learning: the readings are a part of the space. People learn, regardless, and what they learn depends on curiosity, fear, interest, and context. Let’s say that teachers “shouldn’t” teach at all (no Zen intended). On the contrary, the teacher creates a world where learning is made possible, whether it’s Milton or C++, and then drives into the business with all due enthusiasm, leaving the outcome in the hands of the student. Alternatively, the teacher opens a door, asks a youngster to enter, then locks the door after closing it, leaving the outcome, again, up to the learner (this is a metaphor). Example, I just read an article about flu virus in SciAM and it wasn’t the subject that got me, it was the enthusiastic voice of the writer that kept me interested. I left the article with this and this alone: Wow, the flu virus is a really interesting, scary nut.
“There’s another door in there,” the teacher calls through the barrier. “I’ll meet you on the other side.”
Neha could also consider this since she’s now a student of IF like the rest of us, or Susan Gibb, who, if her computer is still working, will be scared into learning with SHII. The question for Neha would be not to teach poetry with IF, but how would she design an IF environment that made learning to disentangle complex texts possible for a student. Can “a” reading of a poem be construed as a digital environment in and of itself?
Game designers are teachers, in my mind; so are interior designers.
It’s an interesting problem for a teacher (someone who likes to talk about cool things, typically to a captured audience) or team of teachers to consider game elements seriously and how those elements are actually already at work in learning environments now.