Embodied Learning

Embodied Learning, to learn math and science through movement and senses throughout the body, a very unique way of learning through the creation of a connection between the mental mind and physical body to aid learning. I guess in some ways, we don’t even realise that we are already doing some form of embodied learning without realising it. Like counting down a mental list, and your fingers start to gesture.  It’s also a great constructivist approach to learning.  From the readings, I agree with the authors that there is an importance in cognitive learning as well that we need to explore.

I think for technology to work it’s way into embodied learning, we would need to implement more physical input components in the applications we use for learning. For example:  using a floor mat that has build in sensors to detect inputs. Back in 4th year of my undergrad, my team and I created a soundscape installation as our final project, that allowed users to move around in the space and manipulate music in the space. Their speed and movements, would adjust the music’s tempo and rhythm while certain movements would manipulate the volume. The installation didn’t have specific instructions though, so users would learn as they went. It wasn’t an easy project and required a lot of programming as expected whenever programmers try to take physical inputs and translate that into data to produce something else. This type of embodied learning technology would seem like a small group or individual activity instead of a class size one.

So, for embodied learning to work with technology in math or science classrooms, I would assume that physical inputs would need to be programmed into the applications to respond in the certain ways. The successful-ness of these interactions seems more like a programming issue than whether the lesson was taught well and used effective learning approaches. Educational games occasionally found for Wii consoles get kids moving and learning at the same time. So  these new interactive learning applications definitely have potential, if researchers or programmers can find a way to bring them into the classroom.

Reference:

Dede, C. (2000). Emerging influences of information technology on school curriculum. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 32(2), 281-303.

Winn, W. (2003). Learning in artificial environments: Embodiment, embeddedness, and dynamic adaptation. Technology, Instruction, Cognition and Learning, 1(1), 87-114. Full-text document retrieved on January 17, 2004, from: http://www.hitl.washington.edu/people/tfurness/courses/inde543/READINGS-03/WINN/winnpaper2.pdf

2 comments

  1. Hi Wanyi,

    I agree that there exists intriguing possibilities for integrating physical activity as a key component of student learning. As noted by Winn (2003), recent studies have shown that knowledge retrieval and retention are benefitted through the integration of learning activities that involve high levels of embodiment.

    With the ultimate goal of promoting student motivation and increasing overall participation and engagement, technology can be used to infuse embodied learning through gamification into daily physical activity. Applications that guide or instruct students in learning skills and movements can enhance teaching and learning in Physical Education (as an example), and these can be utilized by individual students, small groups, or during whole class activities. Augmented Reality offers exciting new possibilities in delivering engaging physical activity to students, as illustrated by apps such as Ballstrike, amongst others.

    http://windowsreport.com/ballstrike-windows-8-fitness-game/

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