What resonated with me after reading Winn’s (2003) article, was that students can learn the same way in artificial environments just as they would in natural environments. He prefers to say students to be coupled with the environment as opposed to embedded in it. Zeltzer (1991) states the correct term to use when a student is being coupled with the environment is “presence” (as cited in Winn, 2003). That you are in an artificial environment, not in a classroom interacting with a computer. What does he mean by this? When a student is using a computer to immerse him/herself by learning various math or science concepts, it’s then not considered embodied learning? I beg to differ. What about Minecraft? I personally don’t have experience with this game but have heard from many colleagues and friends that this game is perfect to learn math concepts such as problem solving, ratios and proportions. Isn’t this considered to be a student interacting with a computer? This is an artificial environment after all, perhaps to create a true “presence” the student could wear a virtual reality helmet? In any case, Minecraft could be considered embodied learning and is already being implemented in classes around the world.
A question I have has been lingering throughout this lesson, “What about the shy, reluctant learners?” Dede (1995) has answered this question perfectly. He states that these type of learners, will actually benefit more through a virtual reality setting since it’s more in their comfort zone. They have valuable contributions to share with others, but prefer it to be in written form as opposed to spoken. Looking back at my previous students, I can see how some of them would prefer this type of learning style. Then comes the question of funding for these types of technologies. How are schools to implement virtual technologies with the lack of funding?
Dede, C. (1995). The evolution of constructivist learning environments: Immersion in distributed, virtual worlds. Educational technology, 35(5), 46-52.
Winn, W. (2003). Learning in artificial environments: Embodiment, embeddedness and dynamic adaptation. Technology, Instruction, Cognition and Learning, 1(1), 87-114.