iSchool Colloquium Series presents: "Beyond -ifications: The hidden and null curriculum of digital learning and play"
Please join us as Melanie McBride, an MA candidate at York University's joint program in Communications + Culture, and Research Associate at the Experiential Design + Gaming Environments (EDGE) Lab at Ryerson University), comes to talk to us about "Beyond -ifications: The hidden and null curriculum of digital learning and play."
Digital culture, far from increasing our autonomy, creativity or critical mindedness, is often, merely, an invitation to participate in ‘purposive,’ operantly conditioned and reified ‘-ifications’ framed as learning and play. While we Foursquare our every move and collect followers on social networks, we are unwitting participants in the real game: the commodification of our senses, lived experiences, knowledge and social relations in exchange for a ‘badge.’ Drawing on my background as an interactive media producer and teacher and current research of children’s autonomy, privacy, gaming and play with the Experiential Design and Gaming Environment (EDGE) Lab at Ryerson University, this talk illuminates my developing thesis of the ‘hidden’ and ‘null’ curriculum of digital gaming and play. Together with early childhood studies professor and lab director Jason Nolan, I am conceptualizing a framework that identifies and interrogates normative and marginalizing values embedded within the institutional and commercial rhetorics of digital play and learning. This framework extends critical and social constructivist pedagogies such as Reggio Emilia-inspired strategies of ‘listening’ with convergent pedagogies of tinkering and informal game-based learning to identify the, largely ‘nullified’ conditions, dispositions and practices that support inclusive, autonomous, open-ended, non-purposive digital learning and play.
Melanie McBride is a Toronto-based early adopter, educator and digital culture specialist with a focus on critical pedagogies of inclusive, informal learning and play. She is currently researching autonomy, privacy, learning and play in digitally-mediated social environments and affinity spaces as a Research Assistant at Ryerson University’s Experiential Design and Gaming Environments (EDGE) lab and MA candidate at York University’s joint program in Communication and Culture. Melanie is also at work on a book about the ‘hidden’ curriculum of emergent learning (September 2012). She has taught and developed courses in participatory and social media for post-secondary, secondary (high school), alternative, at-risk and adult learners. A former World of Warcraft raider, Melanie now prefers the less purposive and messy play of Minecraft.