The War on Learning
Behind the lectern stands the professor, deploying course management systems, online quizzes, wireless clickers, PowerPoint slides, podcasts, and plagiarism-detection software. In the seats are the students, armed with smartphones, laptops, tablets, music players, and social networking. Although these two forces seem poised to do battle with each other, they are really both taking part in a war on learning itself. In this book, Elizabeth Losh examines current efforts to “reform” higher education by applying technological solutions to problems in teaching and learning. She finds that many of these initiatives fail because they treat education as a product rather than a process. Highly touted schemes—video games for the classroom, for example, or the distribution of iPads—let students down because they promote consumption rather than intellectual development.
Losh analyzes recent trends in postsecondary education and the rhetoric around them, often drawing on first-person accounts. In an effort to identify educational technologies that might actually work, she looks at strategies including MOOCs (massive open online courses), the gamification of subject matter, remix pedagogy, video lectures (from Randy Pausch to “the Baked Professor”), and educational virtual worlds. Finally, Losh outlines six basic principles of digital learning and describes several successful university-based initiatives. Her book will be essential reading for campus decision makers—and for anyone who cares about education and technology.
About the Author
Elizabeth Losh directs the Culture, Art, and Technology Program at Sixth College at the University of California, San Diego. She is the author of Virtualpolitik: An Electronic History of Government Media-Making in a Time of War, Scandal, Disaster, Miscommunication, and Mistakes (MIT Press) and the coauthor of Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing.
—Cathy N. Davidson, John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Duke University; Cofounder, HASTAC (hastac.org); and author of Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn
—Henry Jenkins, Provost's Professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Arts, and Education, University of Southern California; and coeditor of Reading in a Participatory Culture: Remixing Moby-Dick in the English Classroom
—Ian Bogost, Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies, Georgia Institute of Technology
—Siva Vaidhyanathan, author of The Googlization of Everything (And Why We Should Worry)
Co-Winner, 2014 Donald McGannon Award for Social and Ethical Relevance in Communication Technology Research
Honorable Mention, 34th annual Mina P. Shaughnessy Prize, sponsored by the Modern Language Association