Virtual Worlds/Digital Media and its Impact on Education

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The following discussion is based on the video and research of Dr. Bailenson which can be seen here:

Affects on the Mind or Psychology:

Dr. Bailenson discusses Avatars and the affect of digital media on people, the mind, and psychologically. An avatar is a person you create in an online world, usually in a gaming space. This avatar can be made to look like anything you wish. Dr. Bailenson goes into detail about how an avatar can bring about certain changes. What I took away from his presentation includes:

1. Avatars can change your behavior. I believe this to be true. Sometime people will say or do things that they wouldn’t in the “real” world because they are behind an avatar.

2. Avatars and/or digital media can change your point of view. I think this is also true. Your views points will start to alter based on the amount of time you spend with any activity and people.

Affects on Students:

According to Dr. Bailenson, 8 million people playing Farmville, 12 million people playing World of Warcraft, and kids ages 6-16 years old spend 8 hours a day using digital media. I was blown away by these numbers. In fact, I have a hard time condoning this behavior. 8 hours a day!! When are our students READING?

Dr. Bailenson also discusses that the classroom may change based on the digital media being created. Some positive affects include:

  • Helping those with developmental delays
  • Engaging students in “fun” learning
  • Helping students become active learners

Overall, the future of education seems uncertain to me based on Dr. Bailenson ideas of digital media. On one hand the positive influence of digital media and games seems wonderful, but on the other hand I can’t possibly imagine that 8 hours of digital media is healthy or productive for the mind. What do you think?

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One Response to Virtual Worlds/Digital Media and its Impact on Education

  1. Pingback: Virtual Worlds/Digital Media and its Impact on Education | Fernando Cassola online

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