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Showing posts from 2021

PhD reading: disruption, interactive design and toddlers watching movies

 This week, I have been reading...   Researching prior learning: How toddlers study movies by Carey Bazalgette (2018) Negotiated, contested and political: the disruptive third spaces of youth media production by Parry, Howard and Penfold (2020) Video games design and aesthetic by James Gee (2016) A summary in ten words: Disrupting the traditional teacher-learner power balance makes for interesting results. Word of the week: Bazalgette (now I realise how you pronounce it). Caffeinated sips to words-read ratio: 3:1   The theme of this set of reading is children’s engagement with digital media outside of the classroom. Bazalgette challenges the assumptions about how toddlers watch and understand films through informal viewing; Parry and others consider the creation of text-based video games by young people outside of a formal educational setting. One key idea that links these articles relates to the positionality of the learner in relation to traditional ‘authority’ in education. Ba

PhD reading: videogames, digital play, makerspaces

 This week, I have been reading... Digital games and libraries , James Gee (2012) Emergent digital authoring: playful tinkering with mode, media and technology , Becky Parry and Lucy Taylor (2021) An interview with Gunther Kress , Eve Bearne (2005) Makerspaces in early childhood education: principles of pedagogy and practice , Jackie Marsh at al (2019) Quite an eclectic list of reading for this week. I intend to adopt a more systematic approach to reading but, for now, I am happy to keep an open mind and read through things that have been in my #toread folder for a while. A summary in ten words: Playing with digital technology invites rich social interaction and learning. Word of the week: tinkering  How much I understood: 65% (Gunther Kress dragged down my average) *** Quite an eclectic list of reading for this week. I intend to adopt a more systematic approach to reading but, for now, I am happy to keep an open mind and read through things that have been in my #toread folder

Starting a PhD

  This month I began a PhD at the University of Sheffield. At last! I have wanted to start a PhD for a long time and have waited for the right opportunity to arrive. Working alongside the exciting team at the School of Education in the area of digital literacy was too good an opportunity to miss.  The focus is children’s identities as authors through digital technology. In teaching children about creative writing, I have had ample opportunity to reflect on how they might experience authoring texts in school, at home and at play. Digital texts - such as videogames and films - are hugely important components in how children experience storytelling and yet these experiences are largely neglected by schools. As a keep computer game player myself, I am curious about the way playing sandbox (e.g., Minecraft) and openworld games and creating naratives within them might mirror storytelling in print. And, of course, I am interested in what schools might learn from it. As my fieldwork will be ca

Computer games and 'deep play'

“Computer games are not a waste of time. They help me think strategically.” That is the best excuse I could come up with when my wife asked me whether I had spent the day wisely playing the strategy game Rome: Total War all afternoon, rather than tackling the pile of assignments I had to mark. In a way, this is true. I don’t run a business or manage other employees. I work alone, usually teaching online, managing my own workload and switching between a variety of self-generated creative projects. So, growing a city, managing an army, designing a profitable dinosaur amusement park: these activities demand a different kind of mental engagement than my usual work. And, yes, gaming is also fun and, as a career in professional football management is unlikely at this stage in my life, it offers a simulated experience for things I am probably not cut out for (although, at 39, I still feel I have a season or two in me as a non-league reserve goalkeeper). Classic city bulding game, The S