Distributed Cognition in Learning

By Jeffrey Mok.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The ubiquitous technological artefact, be it a computer, e-dictionary or mobile phone, has become a common feature in our contemporary learning environment. Passive learning is no longer acceptable and students are engaging more in cooperative and collaborative activities, increasing their level of participation and thinking. Thinking and, therefore learning is no longer regarded as a solo activity. Increasingly, it is viewed as a group activity using artefacts to accomplish a cognitive activity. Learning environments have become more complex in today’s information burdensome age. How do we understand the learning and cognitive activity in such environments? How do students gather, analyse, synthesise and create knowledge for themselves in an ever crowded cognitive system? How do we identify and analyse the transformation and propagation of cognitive representations in an increasingly sophisticated learning environment? How do we appreciate the dynamics of each artefact in order to identify and enhance critical learning incidents? This paper will attempt to answer these questions. The theory of distributed cognition will be discussed together with its application to understanding learning in today’s classrooms. Implications of this theory and benefits will also be explored.

Keywords: Distributed Cognition, Social Cognition, Computer Supported Computer Learning, Learning with Computers, Learning with Technology

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp.151-160. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 597.448KB).

Jeffrey Mok

Assistant Professor, Miyazaki, Miyazaki, Japan

Jeffrey has a Masters in Education from Sheffield University, England. He has several publications in online learning, collaborative learning and TESOL. He has been teaching and doing teacher training in Higher Education for the last 12 years.


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