Smarter People Through Interactive Digital Entertainment Resources

Smarter People through Interactive Digital Entertainment Resources

A Pedagogy for Original Synners

University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, Division of Interactive Media Steve Anderson, ­
Anne Balsamo


This essay begins by speculating about the learning environment of the class of 2020. It takes place entirely in a virtual world, populated by simulated avatars, managed through the pedagogy of gaming. Based on this projected version of a future-now-in-formation, the authors consider the implications of the current paradigm shift that is happening at the edges of institutions of higher education. From the development of programs in multimedia literacy to the focus on the creation of hybrid learning spaces (that combine the use of virtual worlds, social networking applications, and classroom activities), the scene of learning as well as the subjects of education are changing. The figure of the Original Synner is a projection of the student-of-the-future whose foundational literacy is grounded in their ability to synthesize information from multiple information streams.

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