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MIT CMS 998 - Lecture Notes

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CMS.998/CMS.600: New Media Literacies Dr. Alice Robison Lecture Notes Session 18, 4/23/07 • Discourse o Academic vs. professional settings: they don’t always follow the same discourse, even in the same field  Different architecture discourses, research vs. internships, clinical medicine vs. stock memorization in medical school o The discourses of language in spoken or written use, versus language on standardized tests designed to test verbal aptitude • Concept vs. practice o A disabled kid might tell us that he likes video games because they enable him to play basketball. Not because he can simulate basketball, but because he feels he can actually play it. o The conceptual idea can be an index or a placeholder for the practice itself o Piaget wrote about a lot of this • Transfer o One of the fundamental concepts of formal education. o How does what you learn in a video game transfer to the classroom.  The problem with that question is that it assumes that some universal cognition exists  The two things might just rely on different forms of knowledge\ • How are all of these ideas applicable to young kids? They’re trying to learn very basic skills, like how to read, and how can we use all of these higher level concepts in a useful way with them? o Reading Frankenstein in high school and reading it again in graduate school were completely different experiences.  The ability to simply understand the plot of what you’re reading is a complicated skill in itself. Questions about theme and tone and purpose all come later. o Students sometimes have a much harder time with context than with concept. They might actually understand the plot of what they’ve read very well, but they don’t know in what way it should be considered given a certain context  Students know how to read, but they don’t necessarily know how to construct meaning in the way that their teachers expect them to.  What’s more valuable, being able to speak articulately about your passion for reading, or being able to regurgitate contextualized facts about the author? It’s only the second one that students are generally tested on. Even if it seems like high school students aren’t yet able to pick up on the skills that we as graduate students consider relevant, they’re still learning a lot: experiencing a new genre, gaining the ability to sustain attention through hundreds of pages of text, etc. • Why is this reading (Situated Cognition) valuable in a media


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