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How Will Digital Media Impact Education?


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This research study predicts the role of digital media in the future of education. The goal of the study is to address the fundamental research question: How will digital media impact education? To answer this question, the study identifies signals to the future of education and presents a case scenario predicting a typical day of the fictional child Junior at school in 2025. The scope of the research focuses on primary level education in Finland.
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Bit Bang 141
How Will Digital Media
Impact Education?
Muhammad Ammad-ud-din1, Tomi Mikkonen1, Noora Pinjamaa2,
Lehto Satu1, Pauliina Ståhlberg3, Emanuele Ventura4
Tutor: Hu (Ross) Zhongliang
1 Department of Information and Computer Sciences, Aalto University, School of Science,
2 Aalto University School of Economics, Department of Information and Service Management
3 Department of Film, Television and Scenography, Aalto University, School of Arts,
Design and Architecture
4 Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis, Aalto University, School of Science
{muhammad.ammad-ud-din; tomi.mikkonen; noora.pinjamaa; satu.lehto;
pauliina.stahlberg; emanuele.ventura}
Abstract. This research study predicts the role of digital media in the future of educa-
tion. The goal of the study is to address the fundamental research question: How will
digital media impact education? To answer this question, the study identifies signals
to the future of education and presents a case scenario predicting a typical day of the
fictional child Junior at school in 2025. The scope of the research focuses on primary
level education in Finland.
Keywords: education, future, Finnish education system, games, micro learning,
online education, signals
142 How Will Digital Media Impact Education?
1. Introduction
The word “educationdefines the act or process of imparting or acquiring general
knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of pre-
paring oneself or others intellectually for mature life (, 2010). More
intuitively, education represents activities and means of a group of people or a com-
munity to pass interests, goals, and habits from one generation to the next (Dewey,
2012). The process of learning is the acquisition or skills thorough study, experience
or being taught (Oxford Dictionary). Teaching is the activity of conveying knowl-
edge. In these terms, education can be defined also as the process of receiving (learn-
ing) and giving (teaching) systematic instruction at a school or university. The process
of imparting and acquiring knowledge heavily depends on one’s cognitive abilities.
Since the beginning, education has been influenced by a variety of factors such as
social, economical, political and media technology. However, the most influential
factor is media technology (Loretta, Green, and Hansen, 2012).
Certainly, media technology has advanced tremendously in the last fifty years, and
it has magnificently influenced the education system. The two big advancements in
media technology include the World Wide Web (the Internet) and the mobile (wire-
less technology). On one hand, these advancements not only have revolutionized the
way of receiving and giving information, but also have provided the door to the huge
amount of information previously unexposed. Now, the information and knowledge
comes in many forms including e-books, videos, games, websites and social media.
Libraries have changed from buildings filled with books to online repositories of
information (Friedman, L.W. and Friedman, H.H, 2013).
On the other hand, his technology has completely integrated into every aspect of
students’ lives. These students (often called the Internet Generation, Generation Y,
millennial or digital natives) claim high levels of ownership and use of various tech-
nologies. A research study conducted in 2008 reports that college students were the
heavy users of the Internet as compared to the general population (Steve, 2008).
Fully 86 percent of students have already gone online, as compared to 59 percent of
the general population. According to another more recent survey, the first generation
to appear in the new millennium are those born after 1980 (Paul and Scott, 2010).
The survey reports that in comparison to other generations, the digital natives believe
that their unique identity is due to their affiliation with technology such as social
networking sites, wireless technology, video games and self-created videos. A further
study reports that 74 percent of teens aged twelve to seventeen have mobile access to
the Internet (e.g., phone, tablet and similar devices), while 24 percent have posted
videos of themselves on social media (Scott and Paul, 2012).
The heavy use of these technologies by students is transforming the established
concept of learning, teacher’s role and the nature of knowledge itself. Students learn
more outside the school, resulting in a loss of interest and focus while at school.
Moreover, as technology becomes more integrated into students’ lives and educational
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experiences, they need to respect themselves, others and intellectual property, while,
at the same time, they need to learn to think critically about protecting themselves
and others from harmful content and behaviours online (Andrews, 2013).
Thus, the learning and educational systems are facing immense pressure to adapt.
The classical way of teaching is no longer viable in the presence of various media
technologies. New ways of teaching that promote facilitated learning are emerging.
In this regard, there are few examples where media technology has positively influ-
enced such as one-to-one laptop education (Loretta et al., 2012), blended learning
(Gecer, A. & DAG, F., 2012; Napier, N.P., Dekhane, S. & Smith, S., 2011;Thomp-
son, 2011) and game-based learning (Tobias, S., Fletcher, J.D. & Wind, A.P., 2014.
However, as the media technology continues to evolve and transform our society,
exploring the revolutionary possibilities to change the education system is inevitable.
To fully exploit the potential of media technology in education, we need to think
beyond these few examples.
This research study extends in a similar direction and aims to predict the role
of digital media in the future of education. The goal of the study is to address the
fundamental research question: How will digital media impact education? To answer
this question, the study identifies signals to the future of education and presents a
case scenario predicting a typical day of the fictional child Junior at school in 2025.
The scope of the research question could be very broad; however, this study focuses
only at the primary level of education in Finland.
In order to identify the signals, we present the knowledgebase (source) by collect-
ing the existing information about the topic. For this reason, we discuss the key cog-
nitive abilities which are utilized during learning through the use of media technol-
ogy. Furthermore, we revisit various types of digital media that influence education,
such as the Internet, online learning, games and social media. We also describe two
potential challenges that arise due to the use of digital media in education: the role
of teacher and privacy. Additionally, we collected opinions from experts on this topic
by conducting interviews. Next, we describe the actual methodology for identifying
the signals. Finally, we present the list of identified signals and conclude the article
discussing the role of media technology and importance of facilitated learning. We
also propose a case scenario depicting a typical school day of Junior in 2025.
2. Individual Abilities in Processing
A shift is happening in schools towards online education and the change is still ac-
celerating. This pressures schools to provide students with proper digital equipment,
but it also provides media designers a challenge regarding how to design educational
material in the best possible way. There are three relevant issues to learning: techno-
logical, cognitive and communication abilities. Technological abilities refer to issues
144 How Will Digital Media Impact Education?
related to different devices and platforms, cognitive abilities refer to individual pref-
erences in processing information and communication abilities which will become
more important as education is shifting away from traditional teaching methods
towards more group work with the teacher acting as a coach.
2.1. Technological Abilities
Technological abilities are the starting point, as one must possess technological skills
to be able to use a variety of different technologies and platforms. Research on build-
ing technological abilities for children at home has focused previously primarily on
computers as a technological tool (Holloway and Valentine, 2001). Nowadays chil-
dren have a variety of handheld devices (such as smart phones, handheld games),
computers, tablets, television, interactive books, games consoles, DVD players, as
well as cameras and MP3 players at home. There are many opportunities for chil-
dren to get engaged with a number of technological tools according to individual
interest and opportunity. Some parents actively teach their children to use different
technological tools, but in many cases learning occurs as children follow the way
their parents or siblings use different tools. Plowman et al. (2008) discovered that
preschool children typically have acquired basic levels of competence in acquiring
operational skills, extending knowledge of the world, developing dispositions to learn
and understanding its cultural role by the time they start school. Children possess
sufficient technological abilities when going to school, but the challenge for teachers
is to keep up to date with technological progress and to utilize that technology to
promote learning.
2.2. Cognitive/learning Abilities
When technological abilities can be taken for granted the focus shifts to cognitive/
learning abilities as the design of various platforms plays a crucial role for individuals’
understanding of the presented material. The shift in teaching from printed mate-
rial to online education brings about new challenges, as students can browse online
material in a different manner than if they were reading a book, and this poses chal-
lenges also to the design of the content. It has been argued that navigation through
websites mimics the associative nature of human memory and information processing
(structural isomorphism) and thereby suggesting Web superiority over printed mate-
rial. Conflicting evidence does exist, as some research has shown that hypermedia
increases cognitive load and produces disorientation, implying that the Web would
be less effective for learning than would print. Eveland and Dunwoody (2001) com-
pared learning from either printed material or a website and found no differences
in learning. Additional findings related to learning from a website also suggests that
cognitive load does inhibit learning, as noted previously, but another finding was
that high Web expertise facilitates it. In the case of cognitive overload one process or
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more will suffer at the expense of the other, and therefore it is essential to understand
how individuals process and make meaning for incoming information (Lang, 2000).
Content of the educational online material is essential in preventing cognitive
overload and in providing the content in a way that everyone is able to grasp the
information. A lot of effort has been made to design educational material in the best
possible way, but there is still little guidance from cognitive style or learning style
researchers for the practitioner to do this. Clarifying style theory, including both cog-
nitive styles and learning styles, and making better use of it in professional practice
should be a common goal. Cognitive style research reflects the work of experimental
psychologists investigating the area of individual differences in cognition and percep-
tion, whereas learning style research focuses on the process-based issues related to
meeting individual differences in the classroom environment (Rayner and Riding,
1997). Distinction between cognitive styles and learning styles is difficult, as the
terms have been used interchangeably, according to many sources (e.g., Sternberg and
Grigorenko, 1997; but more recent research has shown that they are separate dimen-
sions (Peterson, Deary and Austin, 2007). This paper focuses on defining cognitive
styles, as it is crucial to understand individual differences in cognition and perception
as individuals give meaning to the presented material in different ways.
The term ‘cognitive style’ was originally used by Allport (1937), and it has been
described as a persons typical or habitual mode of problem solving, thinking, per-
ceiving and remembering. Overall, cognitive style refers to an individual’s way of
processing and organizing information; Messick (1984) identified nineteen cognitive
styles altogether. The two main streams are the wholist-analytic dimension, broadly
referring to whether individuals tend to process information in wholes or in parts,
and the verbalizer-visualizer dimension, referring to individuals’ preference to use
either verbal or visual material in processing information. Verbalizer-imager cognitive
style has been widely used in learning studies to discover whether verbalizers should
be taught with textual material and visualizers with visuals to enhance learning, but
the results have been contradictory. Recent studies by Kozhevnikov, Hegarty, and
Mayer (2002) and Kozhevnikov, Kosslyn and Shephard (2005) attempted to clarify
and revise the visualizer-verbalizer dimension, as they discovered the existence of two
different types of visualizers, namely object visualizers (2D) and spatial visualizers
(3D). Their revised cognitive style includes three dimensions dividing individuals
as 2D visualizers, 3D visualizers or verbalizers (Blajenkova et al., 2006). The main
differences in visualizers are that object (2D) visualizers use imagery to construct
high-quality images of the shapes and objects, and they tend to encode images glob-
ally as a single perceptual unit, which they process holistically, whereas spatial (3D)
visualizers use imagery to represent and transform spatial relations and tend to en-
code and process images analytically, part by part, using spatial relations to arrange
and analyse the components. Spatial visualizers don’t seem to keep a lot of pictorial
details in their images in order to develop efficient spatial transformation abilities,
while object visualizers tend to develop an ability to maintain a lot of pictorial details
146 How Will Digital Media Impact Education?
in their images, which impedes effective spatial transformations. Although these di-
mensions are relatively independent on structural and functional levels, in many real-
life tasks these three systems collaborate; there is also evidence of interferences and
trade-offs between them. These also might be cases where verbal and spatial process-
ing interferes, as, e.g., in physics or mathematics, verbal and spatial processing might
serve as alternative strategies to approach the same issue. In order not to overload
working memory one chooses the strategy in which one is more efficient. Altogether
Kozhevnikov et al. (2005) have said that “in addition to being a useful instrument
in providing vocational guidance, the OSIVQ [their cognitive style dimension test]
could be a useful tool for educators in the development of efficiently targeted teach-
ing methods and a choice of instructional educational materials.”
Cognitive styles can be considered to be adaptive control mechanisms without
individual awareness, whereas learning styles involve a conscious choice of alterna-
tives (Sternberg and Grigorenko, 2001;. Learning styles on the other hand can be
considered from an individual’s perspective of “how I learn”, or they can automati-
cally be linked with various stages in the learning cycle (Sadler-Smith, 1996, 1998).
Online learning provides the possibility of making conscious choices when browsing
through the material; one possibility is that individuals tend to make decisions based
on what kind of content is easiest for them to understand. It has been shown that
online courses held at the university had higher drop-out rates when visualizations
were absent, leading to the conclusion that educational material needs to contain
a lot of visualizations. This is true to some extent, but Hegarty and Kozhevnikov
(1999) and Kozhevnikov et al. (2002) have shown that, for example, object visual-
izers have difficulty interpreting scientific graphs as abstract schematic representations
and instead interpret them literally as pictures. This shows that there is a true need
to design versatile content in order to provide individuals the possibility to select the
content they feel most familiar with.
2.3. Communication Abilities
The third important aspect is communication abilities, as the needs for communica-
tion are increasing and altering in nature. Face-to-face communication changes as
teachers are becoming more coaches and group work increases, causing the need for
efficient face-to-face communication to increase. Children are already engaged in
online communication with their friends utilizing various channels, e.g., Facebook
or WhatsApp, which is mostly social communication. Motivational reasons to get
engaged in social communication depend on an individual’s basic needs, which in
this case are related to autonomy and relatedness. The use of social media in educa-
tion has been experimented with, but as it was compulsory for students, it did not
work, even though they use it when they are not in school. The reason for this is
that, when intrinsically motivated people are controlled by extrinsic factors, they lose
interest (Deci, Koestner and Ryan, 1999).
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3. Formal and Informal Education
Informal education consists of all learning activities happening outside formal educa-
tion environments. It can be defined as “the sum of activities that comprise the time
individuals are not in the formal classroom in the presence of a teacher’’ (Gerber,
Marek and Cavallo, 2001). Informal education captures a great number of different
environments under its definition. In this article, digital media defines the environ-
ments we focus on.
3.1. Internet
For the purpose of this research, the Internet as a tool and platform is regarded as the
key game changer, both for formal and informal education. Disruptive new technolo-
gies such as the Internet not only change the way we access information, but they also
affect the way we think. The Internet has become mundane for twenty-first century
society; however, it should be noted how such a technology has changed the way
humans solve problems and impacts how they process information. Search engines
especially, as trivial as they seem, particularly to digital natives, influence our think-
ing, as they provide personalized data. Further, search engines such as Google that
are structured by various machine learning methods such as algorithms, represent an
ultimate external memory which have in a short time revolutionized our problem
solving process.
In addition to the Internet changing the way data is gathered and processed, it also
impacts how it is shared. Traditional formal education was and is based on books,
which are a type of technology that is dependent of the social context of use (Bruck-
man, 2002). At its core, learning is a social process which can be facilitated by the
Internet (ibid). With the Internet, learning is transforming from mere information
searching to new, more sophisticated forms of information processing. The students
technological skills, attitudes, beliefs and preferences that are largely constructed out-
side of formal education “may greatly influence how they learn and how they perceive
learning supported by new technologies” (Mao, 2014, p. 222). By studying the tech-
nological abilities of individuals in formal and informal educational environments,
researchers aim for predictions on how technologies should and will impact human
learning (ibid). Currently, the main trend in scholarly research emphasizes the social
character of learning. The Internet has great potential to influence learning via online
communities and collaboration (Bruckman, 2002).
3.2. Online Education
Online education is the form of education provided by entities, educational institu-
tions and companies through platforms based on online technologies. The last years
have witnessed the fast-growing success of these platforms. For our purposes, formal
148 How Will Digital Media Impact Education?
online education consists of courses delivered on learning platforms and provided by
universities. In this context, the objective is to obtain certificates and recognition in
terms of credits as the outcome of the course.
Computer-based learning has its roots in the early 1960’s when a team of psy-
chologists at Stanford University began the first experimentations of computer-based
learning. Computer-based learning was developed during the 1970’s and 1980’s
(Hiltz, 1990). After the advent of the Internet, the Open University in Britain and
the University of British Columbia were the first institutions of higher education to
implement online means of delivering learning activities and distance learning (Bates,
2005). This was one of the revolutions of the Internet: the advent of education for
everyone. In its first days, online education provided by universities consisted of the
creation of online curricula and websites related to the classical courses held at these
universities. A university course on the Internet was taught for the first time in 1994
at the University of Pennsylvania. This was the beginning of a new educational para-
digm, leading to the birth of the MOOCs, massive open online courses. The MOOCs
deliver freely accessible multimedia documents useful for teaching purposes related
to the material of the course. In addition to the conception of distance learning, the
MOOCs integrate students into an online community. This community creates a
virtual classroom for students, where discussions and peer confrontation take place.
According to a survey (Parker, Lenhart and Moore, 2011) the social impact of
online courses among deans and graduates of 1,055 colleges in United States has
received good feedback. The majority (51 percent) of college presidents think online
courses provide the same value. More than three-quarters of college deans (77 per-
cent) report that their institutions now offer online courses. Fifty percent of college
presidents predict that ten years from now most of their students will take classes
online. Twenty-three percent of graduates report that they have taken a class online.
Among all students who have taken a class online, 39 percent say the format’s edu-
cational value is equal to that of a course taken in a classroom.
Top American universities, such as MIT, Princeton University and Stanford Uni-
versity, have launched their Mooc programs. Even if they offer free courses for a
global audience, these do not lead to university credits. Along with top universities,
many private entities have emerged, like Codecademy, Coursera, Curriki, edX, Khan
Academy, Learnstreet, Udacity and Udemy. In order to understand their common
features, we describe some of them.
Khan Academy is a non-profit organization whose website offers users several
learning activities and multimedia educational content. The aim of Khan Academy is
to deliver free education and create a global classroom. It offers thousands of courses
(not held at any school or college) at a variety of levels (from primary school to col-
lege) in several languages. The website features videos of the courses (about 4,000
on YouTube) and exercise activities on the related material. Since Khan Academy is
non-profit, the business model is based on private donations.
Bit Bang 149
Coursera is a profit organization providing online enrolment in college courses.
Coursera has forged partnerships with many top universities worldwide in order to
feature current courses held in these universities. Only in a few cases do courses offered
on Coursera’s website lead to college credits. The courses are featured through videos,
and (complete automatically graded) tests and assignments are submitted electroni-
cally. The website also serves as a social platform (very similar to a discussion forum),
where students might ask and answer questions about the material. The business mod-
el of Coursera is based on fees coming from certificates and other agreements with
the partner universities. Coursera has already reached one million registered students,
though only a fraction of them are active (Young, 2012). Coursera had students reg-
istered in 196 countries. The highest proportions are in United States (38 percent),
Brazil (6 percent), India (5 percent) and China (4 percent) (Young, 2012).
Udacity is a for-profit company with the same structure and educational offers
as Coursera, although Udacity is completely focused on computer science and re-
lated fields. Udacity has reached 739,000 students coming from 209 countries: from
United States (42 percent), India (7 percent), Britain (5 percent) and Germany (4
percent) (Young, 2012).
LearnStreet offers a platform to learn to program software online. Learnstreet of-
fers beginner courses on Javascript or Python, and students can practice coding in
the browser, exploring video tutorials, using a library of Code Garage projects, where
they can use existing code to build more involved programs (Silicon Valley Business
Journal, 2012). Currently the offerings are free and are funded by the venture capital
firm Khosla Ventures (Silicon Valley Business Journal, 2012). Learnstreet also plans
to introduce placement services for connecting users with the many in-demand tech-
nology jobs in Silicon Valley (Silicon Valley Business Journal, 2012).
From the analysis of all these platforms, we deduce that one of their main com-
mon features is the personalization of the study path. Indeed, the courses provided
by these platforms are divided into different short modules, coherently organized
into single short videos. Depending on their own backgrounds, skills and interests,
students can choose which part is worth listening to or which part is worth watching
again. They might ask and answer questions in the online community of the plat-
form. This is a step toward the creation of a global classroom.
As we have already noticed, these platforms offer the backdrop for courses taken
by thousands of students from all corners of the world. One issue faced by these
education providers is to manage to grade thousands of tests and homework in order
to certificate and grade students’ performance. The trend is to use self- and peer-
grading, which are very close to teacher-grading (Sadler & Good, 2006).
3.3. Micro Learning
Microlearning deals with relatively small learning units and short-term-focused ac-
tivities (Hug, 2005). These learning activities last from a few seconds to fifteen min-
150 How Will Digital Media Impact Education?
utes or more. The learning activities typically provide subsequent meaning that can
continue over multiple events and over a longer period of time. Some people use
microlearning explicitly for learning, while many others do related activities just for
fun or for other purposes. Examples of microlearning activities are:
1. Reading blogs and following feeds
2. Participating in short message service (SMS) news quizzes
3. Noticing employer’s screensaver campaign on a personal computer
4. Writing and tagging blog postings
5. Making social bookmarks
Microlearning typically takes place in different digital media environments. A typical
characteristic of these environments is that they ‘push’ information to the learners,
reducing the need from learners to actively seek information.
But how will microlearning impact education? Microlearning has proven to play an
important role in knowledge creation (Job and Ogalo, 2012). People are learning by col-
lecting, observing and combining data. Through microlearning, these activities happen
all the time: following an RSS feed is about collecting and observing. Adding tags to
blog posts is about combining information. Often these simple tasks are part of routines
that happen from one day to another. On a yearly level, these activities can add up to
hundreds of hours. Many media technologies allow this information to be documented
and structured. Whenever the social aspect is there, which it almost always is, others
can contribute to the microlearning process, making it an even richer learning experi-
ence. Research has found that when properly used, microlearning can increase students
engagement in the learning process (Wang, Shen, Novak and Pan, 2009).
Microlearning has proven to be highly successful in corporate and other profes-
sional training. The benefits of microlearning were discussed above, and it could be
claimed that microlearning or parts of it should be adopted as a part of formal educa-
tion. For example, the support of anytime–anywhere access to learning resources is
one relevant property of microlearning that definitely should be adopted in formal
learning. This is a strong signal of how digital media is influencing current education.
It is worth noting also that microlearning comes with some negative impacts.
The use of media services can lead to increased distraction (Wang et al., 2011).
This means that pupils may use less time studying, because they use so much time
on social media. Some studies confirm that the use of social media has a negative
impact on students’ grades (Boogartl 2006, Jacobsen and Forste, 2011). Similarily, it
has been found that other areas of digital media such as games and television have a
negative impact on students’ grades
3.4. Social Media
One form of microlearning, social media, is characterized as a user-generated plat-
form in which consumers mainly discuss with one another (Bernoff and Li, 2008).
Bit Bang 151
In 2013, 87 percent of sixteen-to-twenty-four-year-old Finnish consumers had been
using social platforms during a period of three months (OSF, 2013). Such statistics
suggest that the social media consumption of the generation of digital natives likely
will increase.
Different social media platforms, such as weblogs, allow students to interact with
and learn from one another (Kelm, 2011). “Peers can be a powerful resource for
childrens learning, if activities are structured to promote productive interactions”
(Bruckman, 2002). Social media enables collaboration, enhances the connections to
the real world and is therefore a great addition to learning tools (ibid). Social media
platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, have been increasingly scrutinized for their
potential to impact both formal and informal education. In one such study, teenag-
ers who had been using social media such as Bebo or MySpace predominantly were
found to create new accounts and shift platforms to Facebook as they were preparing
for their university studies (Madge, C., Meek, J., Wellens, J., & Hooley, T., 2009)
“Their move to university was associated with Facebook emerging as the dominant
SNS” (Madge et al., 2009).
The study of Madge et al. (2009) as well as peers such as (Mao, 2014) have how-
ever found that with the current abilities and associations of students related to social
media platforms, the potential seen in their usage is primarily seen as informal. As
Madge et al. (2009) describes:
First year undergraduate students generally thought the use of Facebook was most
importantly for social purposes, secondarily for informal learning purposes (i.e., for
student-to-student interactions about academic work-related matters) but definitely
not for formal teaching purposes (i.e., between staff and student and involving
formal assessment).
If teachers want to use social media for educational purposes, according to students,
they should avoid some clear mistakes, such as considering YouTube videos to be
pointless (Mao, 2014). Also, students “criticized failed attempts to use social media
when teachers do not provide feedback or interact with them during the process”
(ibid). Therefore, it is no surprise that Bruckman (2002) suggests that we should
emphasize those technologies that promote creativity and students’ thinking.
The current body of literature suggests that further research should be conducted
in order to discover further knowledge regarding the use of social media for educa-
tional purposes. Questions such as ‘Does the use of Facebook vary with disciplinary
background, social capital, ethnicity and access to computing facilities?’ and ‘How
might these digital inequalities then impact educational achievement and develop-
ment of social networks in everyday lives?’ are still left unanswered (Madge et al.,
2009). Despite the fact that studies have shown only poor experimentation of social
media for formal teaching purposes, the evidence from successful informal experi-
ments suggests a potential for change. For the purpose of this chapter, we define
152 How Will Digital Media Impact Education?
occasions of informal learning as situations in which students have been motivated
by their ability to learn from peers via social networks such as Facebook or blogs.
3.5. Games
Any form of play or sport which is played according to some rules and evaluated
by skills, strength and/or luck in a competitive environment, is termed as a game
(Oxford Dictionary, 1998). The use of games in education holds great promise, as
many aspects of educational experiences are closely related to a game. Students have
a series of assignments for which they are rewarded with grades (Schell, 2008; Whit-
ton, 2012). Due to this fact, evidence proves that games have the potential to support
education in a variety of contexts, from primary and secondary schools (Bottino, Ott
et al., 2006; Suh, Kim and Kim, 2010; Watson, Mong and Harris, 2011) to universi-
ties (Connolly, Stansfield and Hainey, 2007; Ebner and Holzinger, 2007; Whitton
and Hollins, 2008) and adult education (Kambouri, Thomas and Mellar, 2006).
The idea of learning through games is associated with the fact that students learn
in different ways and that they learn many things outside the schools, often via access
to digital media and online community or social media (see Section 3.4). This type
of learning outside the school matters a great deal to a student’s ability to learn in
school; therefore, games could be one way to attract some students’ attention inside
the schools (Salen, 2010).
One tremendous benefit of games is that they promote cognitive skills. One such
skill is called ‘situated cognition’ or ‘learning by doing’ (meaning teaching a concept
in the environment where students can practically demonstrate that knowledge). Re-
search has shown that the use of situated cognition for education purposes promotes
learning, students learn faster, retain knowledge longer and transfer that knowledge
to the real world (Van Eck, R. and Global, I, 2010). Another thing that games do
very well is promote systems thinking, for example, Simcity (Adams, 1998). Games
like Simcity and similar others help to understand the system behind the interface
and think of the game not as a set of discrete items but as a system. We learn how to
interact with different items assuming that these are part of the whole not just single
or separated items. This is the type of thinking expected from education, however
is not seen in any of the educational experiences so far. Another way that games are
very effective is that games promote collaboration (which also often called as 21st
century learning skill) (Sanchez and Olivares, 2011). World of Warcrafts is one of
such multi-player online role playing games build on this concept where thousands
of people work together (Song & Lee, 2006). Sociologists and educators consider this
game as an excellent example of collective intelligence and social negotiation of skills
(Golub, 2010). People working together to solve a problem, that could not be solved
individually. These types of skills set are highly required to solve real world problems,
for example shortage of oil, energy crisis, hunger and poverty. A further well studied
benefit of games is that they develop problem-solving skills. Dave Jonassen argues
that the heart of a good instructional problem has two key characteristics. One it has
Bit Bang 153
a goal that requires to generate new knowledge in order to solve the problem. The
other part is the value to the learner in solving that problem (D. H. Jonassen, How-
land, Moore, & Marra, 2002; D. H. Jonassen, 2002; D. Jonassen, 2009). However,
schools include the first part sometimes but never consider the second part. Finally,
another important aspect of games is that these introduce engagement (Van Eck, R.
and Global, I, 2010). Many people have misperceptions about what actually this
engagement means in terms of games (e.g., it is about fun, entertainment and/or mo-
tivation). It is actually a cognitive effort required to solve a problem. More intuitively
the engagement is a combination of problem solving and optimizing the challenge.
In other words, it is an example of individualized instruction.
Although there are many benefits that games offer in educational experiences,
there exist key challenges. One of the challenges is the feasibility and applicability of
games in classrooms. Games are the disruptive technologies meaning that they expect
us to operate in the same way they are designed to be operative. For instance, when
we talk about situated cognition or authentic learning we have to recognize that we
have 30 kids, say, in the classrooms and situated cognition would mean field trips or
lab experiments after every hour of the day. Similarly when we discuss about systems
thinking and collective intelligence, in our current educational model it is regarded as
cheating. The educational experiences emphasize in doing own work and generally do
not allow communicating and collaborating with others in the classrooms especially
during the examination (Van Eck, 2006). A further challenge is the concern about
competition, rewards and incentives. Usually the parents are worried with the notion
that when the games do not progress, their children get addicted and the only thing
children would like to do is to get better and better (Salen, 2010). Another challenge
is the training of teachers. Learning through games modifies the role of teachers from
instructor to coach. Teachers require a special set of skills and training in how to use
games to teach students.
4. Schooling System
4.1. The Finnish Education System
The Finnish education system is based on the ideology that all people must have
equal access to high-quality education. Key values in education policy are quality,
equity, efficiency and internationalization. The basic educational system aims to pro-
vide consistent results and equality. The Finnish education system is free (tax paid),
and it consists of a compulsory nine-year primary education (comprehensive school)
for the whole age group from a child turning seven years old. This is preceded by one
year of voluntary pre-primary education. Upper secondary education consists of gen-
eral education and vocational education and training. Higher education is provided
by universities and polytechnics. Education is guided by legislation, national core
154 How Will Digital Media Impact Education?
curricula and qualification requirements. Teachers are recognised as keys to quality
education, and the high level of education is based on university level teacher educa-
tion; meaning that teachers are highly educated- at university level- and this in turn
insures high level of education to kids. The teaching profession is regulated, and the
qualifications required from teachers are defined in legislation (FNBE, 2011).
In the future, Finland wants to lead in the development of learning culture. The
strategy of the Finnish National Board of Education (FNBE) aims at developing
into a centre of expertise in the use of information and communications technology
in education and digital learning environments. The goal is for learning and teach-
ing to emphasise collaborative approaches, combined with building knowledge. All
learners will be guaranteed equal opportunities to access and produce information
and to make efficient use of information and communications technology in sup-
port of learning. Electronic learning materials will form an integral part of learning.
Digital infrastructures and digital skills at all levels of education will be developed
systematically. New educational technologies and learning environments will be put
to active use in teacher education. Databases will be developed to support teachers.
Finnish teacher education will be developed to include the utilisation of information
and communication technology (FNBE, 2011).
Some schools in Finland are practicing new methods where instructors work more
as coaches than as traditional teachers, and students may do homework at school and
learn from lectures at home through online videos.
4.2. Growing Demands for Teachers
Learners need to develop critical technological and communication skills needed for
the twenty-first century. Future teachers must be able to teach new literacy skillsin-
formation, media and technology literacy. Pupils must be taught how to find and
collect reliable information and data and how to make sense of it while thinking criti-
cally. Historically knowledge was scarce: teachers read aloud, lectured, dispersed their
knowledge to unknowing learners. Pupils memorized facts and figures and retention
or this memorized knowledge was tested. Now content and information is found on
the Web, and using search engines is so commonplace that Googling has become a
verb. What will be important is not memorized knowledge but how well and fast a
pupil collects relevant information, what is deducted and how this knowledge is ap-
plied. Future teachers will be more like coaches of content (Järvilehto, 2009).
Information technology skills are important for future teachers as well as for learners.
Children become adept in the use of technology and ICT, and therefore teachers must
keep up with new technologies that children will embrace fast. This must be considered
in future teacher training. In Finland less than 10 percent of applicants gain entrance
to university teacher training. Finland’s high scores in Pisa tests have been attributed to
the high level of teacher training, free education and uniformity of the curriculum. But
teachers may refuse to use new technology in their teaching. In the Education Minis-
Bit Bang 155
try’s future plan (OPM, 2007) is mentioned only in passing that nationwide training
programs at university level are needed for teachers in subjects such as new technologies.
To remain at the forefront of education, new teachers must be well-versed in computer
skills, and these should be a major subject in teachers training (OPM, 2007). A global
ecosystem of collaboration among educational institutions and educators will be needed
to keep Europe competitive as the population ages.
Global trends in education and the use of ICT affects teachers everywhere. Song
(2010) writes that China, where educational reform is ongoing, could become a
leader in designing teacher education programs. To produce highly qualified, future-
oriented and ICT-savvy teachers, designers need to shift to a transdisciplinary cur-
riculum. Teacher education needs to embrace innovation which includes an emphasis
on global collaboration via the Internet.
Communication skills that can be used globally are important. Sanna Lukander,
an educational expert and exporter of Finnish primary education from Rovio En-
tertainment, emphasizes the need for global communication skills to be taught to
both teachers and learners. She also predicts that peer learningon a global scalewill
increase as the digital world supports collective doing.
Kati Tiainen, an education expert from Microsoft, also stresses the importance
collaboration in learning, in producing content and in teaching. She says twenty-first
century skills focus not so much on what is in the curriculum but on how learning
happens. Learning will be more personalized, tailored to pupils’ needs, interests and
strengths. She also emphasizes that teachers will become more like coaches.
Järvilehto (2009) writes that collaboration and communication can be taught
through games and ICT. In the future, the learner will also be the creator and produc-
er of content, often in a collaborative way. Schools should teach ways of working to-
gether to produce, share and communicate information and other content. The author
emphasizes the need for learning to be fun, enjoyable and meaningful for learners.
We are transitioning from classical lecture-learning to facilitated learning in which
students take more control of their learning process. The trainer’s role becomes that
of a facilitator and coach. But not only does the teacher’s role change, so do the sub-
jects that need to be taught, as described in the following.
4.3. Rising Awareness
Different social platforms are used to facilitate learning. However, the primary pur-
pose of these services is something other than learning. It is more about implement-
ing a business goal that can be pretty much anything from targeting ads to gathering
direct marketing contact lists. For students, it is important to understand that these
business goals can differ from their learning goals, resulting in undesired effects.
Examples of these effects are:
Tw i t t e r d o e s n o t f o r g e t : t h e U . S . L i b r a r y o f C o n g r e s s i s a r c h i v i n g a l l Tw i t t e r u s e .
is means that whatever gets tweeted cannot be untweeted or deleted. One
156 How Will Digital Media Impact Education?
must be careful about what is morphed from your personal life into the cyber
world, which may exist digitally forever.
Social media leak information: social media services often have closed groups
for professionals or study groups. ese closed groups often give consumers a
sense that these are exclusive environments. But they are not. e boundary
between public and private is incomprehensible for many (Rosenblum, 2007).
The above companies are not trying to be intentionally evil to students. Unfair or
deceptive companies are hunted down by various legal systems around the world. But
a great majority of different privacy incidents are not privacy incidents from a legal
perspective, rather just from a personal viewpoint. For example, private information
shared on Facebook can become public, and it may not possible to remove this infor-
mation afterwards. People feel that their privacy has been violated, because, e.g., they
can be bullied at school for something they have said, and they cannot deny it, since
it is ‘on the Internet’. These incidents happen for the simple reason that students are
not aware of services’ functionality, even they are very well aware of how they are us-
ing the service. When the functionality differs from the students’ own use, different
privacy ‘violations’ are possible. But, as said, these privacy violations are usually so-
called personal privacy violations, not legal privacy violations and rarely result in any
legal action.Understanding these aspects of data retention, confidentiality, use of the
data and other related issues is a necessity for the efficient use of media in education.
This calls for raising awareness around these concepts amongst students. The key
in awareness building is to help students understand what kind of potential threats
there are and what impacts may result. Of course, it will not be possible to explain all
possible causes and effects to students, but the key is to help students make informed
decisions regarding the use of media services. The schooling system should bear re-
sponsibility for students’ awareness creation towards privacy and other related aspects.
Students need to learn to protect themselves and others from harmful content and
behaviours online (Andrews, 2013). This calls for the use of common sense to review
what they post and review what is available on the Internet about them (Rosenblum,
2007). Developing such critical thinking and responsible behaviour regarding their
online behaviour would be a valuable asset for the students. But currently the school-
ing system fails to build such a skill set for students.
5. Methodology
We have approached the research problem through a literature review (as described
in previous sections) that serves as a source for defining signals. A ‘signal’ is a small or
local innovation or disruption that has the potential to grow in scale and geographic
distribution (IFTF, 2014). At the time of an identification, this signal is still too
incomplete to permit an accurate estimation of its impact and/or to determine its
Bit Bang 157
full responses (Ansoff, 1982). Signals are useful for anticipating an uncertain future.
Using signals, emergent disruptions can be captured before they become obvious.
Trends (“a general direction in which something is developing or changing” (Oxford
Dictionary, 1998) are usual methods to describe something obvious, and signals
could capture a trend before it is identified and acknowledged. The identified signals
were used to draft a simplistic scenario for the future of primary education. The sce-
nario describes a prediction of how the identified signals are shaping the world. The
goal of the scenario is not to be rich in details, but to be brief and to present views
that can be supported by the identified signals. To test the validity of our scenario, a
number of expert reviews were conducted. The goal of the interviews was to gather
feedback from media professionals that have made their own predictions regarding
the future. The interviewees were presented with the suggested scenario from this
case and asked to provide their opinions on the scenario and the building blocks of
the scenario. The expert feedback was incorporated selectively: some pieces of the
feedback could have been integrated directly to the proposed scenario, whereas most
of the feedback was noted and possibly used to draft an alternative scenario. Based
on this methodology, we will forecast “a day of a Junior in 2025” in the Finnish
schooling system.
6. Future of Education
6.1. Signals
As described above (see Section 5), signals have the characteristics of disrupting or
innovating the course of present predictions of the scenario. As used by the Institute
of the Future (IFTF) signals are practical foresight tools that make it possible to map
complex horizons for the future. Signals can take into consideration the technologi-
cal, social, political and environmental factors of a horizon. In the present paper, a
total of fourteen signals were identified from previous research (see Sections 1–4)
as well as from the expert interviews. In Table 1 we disclose the list of signals and
provide a brief description for each. The following section will then predict the be-
haviour of the signals.
158 How Will Digital Media Impact Education?
Table 1. Signals to the future of education
Signal Explanation
Peer-reviewing Automated scoring and peer reviews for grading
Personalization Recommendations for students based on interests, background and
aims, predicted with big data
Self-reviewing Students will assess their own skills according to given criteria
Collaborative learning Learners will collaborate in projects and homework within their
own classes as well as globally with other students
Self-organized learning
environment (SOLE)
A place where children can collectively access the Internet and
pursue their learning interests
Microlearning integration to
formal learning
New teaching methods in which microlearning is a seamless part of
the formal learning experience
More technological
motivational rewards
Badges, tools and others, such as level ups from games used to
motivate students
Games-based learning Learning will become more fun-oriented; games will be used more
and tailored to the needs of education.
Global classrooms Cooperation of classes by use of new technologies regardless of
geography: global curriculum
Rising awareness around
privacy: a new skill to learn
Fundamentals of coding and online privacy issues are taught as part
of the curriculum.
Reading printed books Printed books will not be used in teaching; all literature will be
delivered through the Internet and other technologies.
More attention will be paid
to the design of educational
e interplay of visual and verbal material will be better balanced.
Social media Teachers will learn to incorporate changing social media (informal
learning) into classroom learning and peer teaching.
Communication skills Teachers will coach students in collaborating and teamwork in class
as well as across geographical borders.
Bit Bang 159
6.2 Behaviour of Signals
Our prediction is based on the following behaviour of signals drawn in Fig. 1.
Fig. 1. e Changes in the Strength of signals
As one can observe from Fig. 1, the strongest signals are global classrooms and stu-
dents’ communication skills, while the weakest are printed books and self-reviewing.
The changes depict how the primary schooling system will advance towards a future
in which the teacher’s role shifts from pure ruler to being a coach. At the same time,
the students will be learning in an environment in which they will be provided with
personalized learning materials and in which teamwork and communicating with
peers will be integral parts of the learning experience. Based on these evaluations of
signal strength, we have developed the scenario of “a day of a Junior in 2025”, de-
scribed in “Junior’s day at school in 2025”.
7. Conclusion and Discussion
The Finnish primary school system is not the most efficient system when it comes
to teaching necessary skills to twenty-first-century learners. The media and parents
merely discuss the alarming behaviour of distracted children playing with their smart-
phones at school. However, the topic of discussion should be “What could we do to
160 How Will Digital Media Impact Education?
improve the school system to avoid distracted behaviour?” We believe that the exist-
ing school system should develop in such a way that it would support the digital sav-
vy youngsters and engage and motivate them by leveraging their technological skills.
Currently the school system cannot be described as engaging. New ideas are need-
ed to transcend the boundaries of formal and informal education by combining
traditional methods and new innovative ideas. The school system must change from
pushing to coaching. Right now the teachers are spending most of their time in
lectures (i.e., pushing information). The system should support individual learning,
not ‘the same for everybody’. School days should include more projects that would
encourage communication and social interaction. Various media technologies play a
key role in delivering these changes.
In summary, we emphasize that the current educational system should change
from classical teaching to facilitated learning. In this regard, we present a detailed
scenario predicting a typical school day of a Junior in 2025 (see scenario in Junior’s
day at school in 2025), in which we project our signals to forecast the activities of a
Junior during a typical school day in 2025.
Through these simple school-day examples, we propose that the schooling system
in Finland must change and that various media technologies will be the key to facili-
tating this change. There are many good qualities that shall remain with the existing
schooling system. The purpose of technology is to support this system, not to be the
sole solution. But, due to the fact that there are many open gaps in the research to in-
tegrate the schooling system with various media technologies and that these technolo-
gies present a significant part of everyday living, this will require a major change. Big
changes always take a long time, and therefore it is necessary to start the change now.
Bit Bang 161
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Digital media can have high potential for supporting learning processes. This assumption also holds true for institutional informal learning places (IILP). However, there is no systematic overview of research on the use of digital media for informal learning in such places yet. In order to fill this gap, this paper reports on the findings of a systematic literature review in the field of informal learning with digital media in IILP. A total of 26 relevant studies, conducted between 2005 and 2020, were identified via database search in Scopus and FIS, as well as through cross-referencing. Subsequently, those 26 studies are analyzed in more detail by a qualitative content analysis, which is used to investigate three research questions: 1) What are the general characteristics of digital media investigated in IILP? 2) What are the functions of digital media investigated in IILP that are relevant for learning? 3) What outcomes were measured, related to informal learning with digital media in IILP? The results show that portable and stationary digital media tools are investigated about equally often and that often, they already offer augmented reality (AR). It also shows that digital media have not yet fully exploited their potential functions, as they mainly offer the retrieval of information, and have only exploited collaboration functions only to a rather small extent. However, they can promote and support motivational and cognitive learning processes, especially with regard to knowledge acquisition and interest, as well as collaboration and social interaction.
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This paper describes the conversion of an introductory computing course to the blended learning model at a small, public liberal arts college. Blended learning significantly reduces face-to-face instruction by incorporating rich, online learning experiences. To assess the impact of blended learning on students, survey data was collected at the midpoint and end of semester, and student performance on the final exam was compared in traditional and blended learning sections. To capture faculty perspectives on teaching blended learning courses, written reflections and discussions from faculty teaching blended learning sections were analyzed. Results indicate that student performance in the traditional and blended learning sections of the course were comparable and that students reported high levels of interaction with their instructor. Faculty teaching the course share insights on transitioning to the blended learning format.
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Models of distance education have evolved over decades, just in time to collide with modern pedagogies in which communication, interaction, student engagement, and active learning are of critical importance. The number of college students taking online classes continues to grow. Today, nearly 30% of college students are taking at least one online class. The social media technologies encompass a wide variety of Web-based technologies such as blogs, wikis, online social networking, and virtual worlds. This paper examines the relevant published literature, looking at online learning activities through the prism of the defining characteristics of today’s new communication technologies.
List of Figures, Tables, and Exhibits. Acknowledgments. Introduction. Chapter 1: What Is Problem Solving? What Are Problems, and How Do They Vary? Structuredness. Complexity. Dynamicity. Domain (Context) Specificity/Abstractness. What Is Problem Solving, and How Does It Vary? Story Problems. Troubleshooting Problems. Case and System and Policy Analysis Problems. Summary. Chapter 2: Designing Learning Environments to Support Problem Solving. Story Problems. Problem Type and Typology. Worked Examples. Practice Items. Content Instruction. Summary. Troubleshooting Problems. Conceptual Model. Troubleshooter. Case Library. Worked Examples. Practice Items. Case, Systems, or Policy Analysis Problems. Problem Presentation. Problem Representation Tools. Summary. Chapter 3: Presenting Problems to Learners. Problem Posing. Anchoring Problems in Macrocontexts. Case-Based Instruction. Components of Case Problems. Case Format. Summary. Chapter 4: Tools for Representing Problems by Learners. Representing Semantic Organization. Representing Causal Reasoning. Causal Modeling. Influence Diagrams. Expert Systems. Modeling Dynamic Systems. Summary. Chapter 5: Associating Solutions with Problems. Worked Examples: Modeling Performance. Subgoals. Self-Explanations. Using Worked Examples. Case Libraries: Teaching with Stories. Supporting Problem Solving with Stories. Collecting Stories. Cognitive Flexibility Hypertexts: Conveying Complexity. Understanding Sexual Harassment. Freedom of Expression. Medical Diagnosis. Summary. Chapter 6: Supporting Solutions. Simulations. Using Microworlds to Simulate Solutions. Building Learning Objects to Simulate Solutions. Building Simulations of Problems. Using Versus Building Simulations. Argumentation. Argumentation Skills. Argumentation Technologies. Summary. Chapter 7: Reflecting on Problem-Solving Processes. Peer Instruction and Thinking-Aloud Pair Problem Solving. Peer Instruction. Thinking-Aloud Pair Problem Solving. Teachbacks and Abstracted Replays. Teachbacks. Abstracted Replays. Coding Protocols. Summary. Chapter 8: Assessing Problem Solutions and Learning. Assessing Problem-Solving Performance. Constructing Rubrics. Heuristics for Developing an Effective Rubric. Assessing Component Skills. Story Problems. Troubleshooting Problems. Case Analysis Problems. Knowledge Representation Tools. Assessing Argumentation and Justification. Objective Forms of Assessment of Argumentation. Coding Student Arguments. Assessing Student Essays and Problem-Solving Accounts. Summary. References. Index. About the Author. About the Series Editors. About the Advisory Board Members.
This chapter reviews a rapidly growing body of empirical evidence on the effectiveness of using video and computer games to provide instruction. Evidence of their effectiveness is drawn from existing results and data. The topics covered here are transfer from computer games to external tasks, enhancing cognitive processes, guidance and animated agents, playing time and integration with curricular objectives, effects on game players, attitudes toward games, cost-effectiveness, and, finally, the use of games for evaluation. Areas where the evidence base is particularly weak are identified in the discussion section. Findings and recommendations for the design of games used in instruction are summarized in a table. The chapter concludes with a call for development of tools and technology for integrating the motivating aspects of games with good instructional design. People do learn from games. Missing are generally effective design processes that ensure that learners will acquire the specific knowledge and skills the games are intended to impart.
Digital games have the potential to create active and engaging environments for learning, supporting problem-solving, communication and group activities, as well as providing a forum for practice and learning through failure. The use of game techniques such as gradually increasing levels of difficulty and contextual feedback support learning, and they can motivate users, using challenges and rewards, competition and mystery. Above all, computer games provide safe spaces in which learners can play, explore, experiment, and have fun. However, finding appropriate games for specific educational contexts is often problematic. Commercial entertainment games are designed for enjoyment, and may not map closely to desired learning outcomes, and the majority of educators do not have the time or specialist expertise to create their own games. Computer games are expensive to purchase or produce, and learners, particularly busy adult learners, need to be convinced of their effectiveness. So while there are many theoretical benefits to the use of computer games for learning, it given the increasing economic constraints in education, their use may simply not be practical. This paper presents three alternative ways in which the theory and practice of computer games can be applied to education, without the expense. First, the option of developing simple and cost-effective games with low technical specifications, such as alternate reality games, or using virtual worlds or one of the growing number of accessible game-builder toolkits to create educational games, will be explored. Second, learning from games rather than with them is discussed, examining game techniques that naturally enhance learning, and embedding those elements in traditional teaching practices. Third, the paper presents the option of giving learners agency as game creators rather than simply players, so that it becomes the process, not the product, which facilitates learning. The advantages and drawbacks of each approach are discussed, looking at both practical and pedagogic issues. In this way, the paper aims to offer alternative ways of thinking about the potential of digital games for learning, and present possible solutions to the increasing financial constraints that face the field.
Using an explanatory sequential mixed methods design, the study investigated high school students’ affordances for social media, their attitudes and beliefs about these new technologies, and related obstacles and issues. The affordance findings indicate that students depend on social media in their daily lives for leisure and social connections. Educational uses by teachers for classroom teaching and learning are sporadic, while uses by students on their own for learning purposes seem to be abundant but also incidental and informal. Quantitative results suggest that in general, students show positive attitudes and beliefs about social media use in education. Exploratory factor analysis revealed three components that explained a total of 65.4% of the variance: (a) benefits of social media use, (b) disadvantages of social media use, and (c) current social media use in education. Three issues emerged from the interview data: Conceptual understanding of social media for learning; close-minded, acquired uses versus open-minded, innate uses of social media; and changed concepts of learning. The study results suggest that for social media to be used as effective learning tools and to adjust students’ prior affordances with these tools, complicated efforts in designing, scaffolding, and interacting with students during the process are necessary.
Anyone can master the fundamentals of game design - no technological expertise is necessary. The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses shows that the same basic principles of psychology that work for board games, card games and athletic games also are the keys to making top-quality videogames. Good game design happens when you view your game from many different perspectives, or lenses. While touring through the unusual territory that is game design, this book gives the reader one hundred of these lenses - one hundred sets of insightful questions to ask yourself that will help make your game better. These lenses are gathered from fields as diverse as psychology, architecture, music, visual design, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, writing, puzzle design, and anthropology. Anyone who reads this book will be inspired to become a better game designer - and will understand how to do it.