Publication details [#41]

Gillen, Julia, Rebecca Ferguson, Anna Peachey and Peter Twining. 2012. Distributed cognition in a virtual world . Language and Education 26 (2) : 151–167. 17 pp.
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Article in journal
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The authors have studied activities where students and staff co-operate in virtual sailing regattas. The regatta was part of Teen Second Life 1, a protected project organising educational events using virtual reality. The questions at issue were: How do people work together, including through the use of (virtual) artefacts, to solve problems? What particular qualities of the literacy practices surrounding the regatta involve learning. The findings include a diversity of creative approaches that are used when solving problems, the significance of adult behaviour in authentically modelling learning and the value of humour in fostering a learning community. Further, the results show that placing the focus of attention on navigating boats, here in a virtual world, is more than a powerful metaphor. It is an instantiation of distributed cognition. This notion of distributed cognition has implications for characterising learning and analytical approaches to analyses.