New Year and New Beginnings

The start of a new year and a new course is always exciting. All of the Learning Sciences graduate students must take the seminar class in Education Technology. As the course instructor, I have the pleasure of getting to know all the graduate students in our department and be part of their learning.

For the first time, we are reading and discussing the Handbook of the Learning Sciences. All the graduate students are creating a pathfinder with an accompanying blog to track their research and scholarly process. The pathfinder helps me learn and respond to the graduate students’ thoughts.

In her first blog post, Anna commented that Greeno and Engeström’s Learning in Activity chapter was just dry theory.  I agree with Anna.  Not only the chapter, but the entire book can be considered quite dry. (See “Why is academic writing so unpleasant to read?“) Reading dry literature is part of the process of enculturation into the Learning Sciences. Grad school requires learning new vocabulary and navigating through difficult texts. I hope that as we progress through the dryness, we can add some life to our interactions by relating the chapters to Anna’s and the other graduate students’ own research agendas.

Questions for discussion: If you were using Activity Theory for your research topic, what research questions would you ask? What data would you collect?

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