New Science of Learning

pp 45-52


An Embodied/Grounded Cognition Perspective on Educational Technology

  • John B. BlackAffiliated withTeachers College, Columbia University Email author 

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This chapter applies perceptually grounded or embodied cognition to the design and use of educational technology to increase student learning and understanding. This approach uses various kinds of educational technology to create mental perceptual simulations of topics being learned in addition to the usual symbolic mental representations. The goal is to have students have a “feel” (the perceptual simulation) for the topics in addition to “knowing” (the symbolic representation) about them. Educational technologies covered include interactive graphic computer simulations using movement and animation, graphic simulations that involve force feedback in addition to interaction, video game playing and creation, and robot creation and programming. Research results have indicated that these embodied ways of using educational technologies increases student learning and understanding as shown by memory and problem solving tests.