Learning in the Digital Age

Learning is a dynamic and complex process. In this globalized and digital world, knowledge has undergone an unprecedented transformation. Unlike necessary educational skills of reading and writing from agricultural age (Education 1.0), and scientific production-line learning of the scientific revolution age (Education 2.0), learning in this digital age (Education 3.0) is shaped by “a confluence of neuroscience, cognitive learning psychology, and educational technology” (Borden, 2015 quoted in Schaff and Mohan, 2017:10). Digital learning offers a personalized and customizable approach (Schaff and Mohan, 2017:10) within the “learner-centered environment” (ibid., 11). Marc Prensky, in his Digital Game-Based Learning, observes the digital cognitive style list of changes like: “twitch speed vs. conventional speed, parallel processing vs. linear processing, graphics first vs. text first, random access vs. step-by-step, connected vs. standalone, active vs. passive, play vs. work, payoff vs. patience, fantasy vs. reality, technology as friend vs. technology as foe” (Prensky, 2001:52). It is not strange that we complain about the short span attention of this new digital generation. We have to find ways to engage them in the process of learning, assuming that their cognitive and mental abilities now work in the novelty of digital context. “The data from the study suggests Digital Game-Based Learning is a sound instructional strategy that promotes student engagement” (Schaaf, 2012:61). 

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/news/2020/learning-digital-age
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An unusual article to appear on the Spectrum website, but very pertinent. There is enormous potential in game theory to not only learn, but to change behaviors and improve mental health.

I am acquainted with the principals of a company called SuperBetter that is in this very space. It was the brainchild of one of the foremost experts on game theory, Jane McGonigal for personal reasons. She developed the idea of using a game-like application to help her recover physically and mentally from a serious brain injury. It worked.

Game theory, techniques and applications could serve our church well in multiple ways if door were to open in our collective mind.

Unfortunately, the appetite for real innovation is pretty low. We have an organization with huge potential for innovation within the church - Adventist Learning Community. But it is viewed with something like hostility by most Adventist educational institutions, viewed as competition for brick-and-mortar schools.

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