Friday, January 18, 2008

Week 3 Day 1

Faigley, Cooper, Hawisher and Selfe,

This series of articles forced a personal assessment of Videogames as a technology for pedagogy. The postmodern ideas that flow through that idea and the modernist institutional concepts that constrain those ideas. Moreover they advise a manner of reflection on the topic of technology in the classroom.

The utilization of videogames as mechanisms to circumvent institutional paradigms of education is of extreme importance. Reading through Cooper's gloss of Foucault (among others) and her application of postmodernism to computers in the classroom provided insight on the logic behind the conceptualizations of power that can be illustrated through virtual worlds. Instead of reifying power dynamics as inherent in policy, the possibility of stepping back and analyzing power as inhabiting relationships opens a door for research using MMORPGs. While the examination of power through the structure of on-line spaces is still quite valid, focusing on the manner in which players interact with one another could be all the more revealing.

The Faigley article also demonstrated a concern that is likely in the forefront of any possible collaborative-educator that sees technology as a means of enabling cooperation between the educator and the student. Control. Maintaining control in the classroom in order to channel the students toward the responses that are necessary in order for them to move into the next section of the program. I would respond with an analysis of the increase in self-realization through discovery.

Hawisher and Selfe warn instructors to be aware (or perhaps more honest) on the topic of technology as positive. The thesis seems to be that technology can just as easily remove agency from a classroom by programming students. Skill drills is one of their primary examples. In my estimation Selfe and Hawisher can be seen as forwarding a Foucaultian idea of power as cyclical. The subaltern becoming the dominant paradigm. What was once revolutionary (grunge) becomes the status quo (pre-torn flannel at the GAP).

The Question that I pulled out of these articles:

How does an educator attempt to teach through a post-modern philosophy within the moderist structures that exist in the University setting?

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