Events Graphic
MIT Media Lab about us . academics . sponsors . research . publications . events . people . contact us

Okawa Lecture Series

Sasha Barab (Indiana University):
"Creating a Socially-Responsive Context of Participation: Something for Boys and Girls"

Friday, May 28, 2004, 01:00 PM EST

Roth Room, MIT Media Lab (E15-283)

This presentation will overview gender participation in the Quest Atlantis (QA) context. As a context for learning, QA is not simply a technological product. Rather, it constitutes a type of "brand"—what we have come to term a socially-responsive context of participation—that integrates technology as part of its identity. Our research focus in this study is not targeted towards saying boys or girls have better participation but rather to examine the multiple forms of participation and discern the ways that girls and boys demonstrate these forms differently. As such, in this study, we do not simply report on gender differences with respect to a single form of participation but instead quantitatively and qualitatively report data related to the multiple participant structures that constitute QA. The data do indicate that we have successfully developed a technologically-rich game-like environment that seems to attract both genders. Here, we unpack that statement, examining how individually and collectively over a dozen different QA activities and structures differentially engaged boys and girls.

Sasha Barab is an Associate Professor in Instructional Systems Technology and Cognitive Science at Indiana University. His current work involves the design of rich learning environments, frequently with the aid of technology, that are designed to assist children in developing their sense of purpose as individuals, as members of their communities, and as knowledgeable citizens of the world. His research has resulted of dozens of peer-reviewed articles, chapters in edited books. He is currently editor of the book Designing for Virtual Communities in the Service of Learning, to published by Cambridge University Press in 2004.

The Okawa lecture series focuses on issues related to children, learning, creativity, and community. These presentations are made possible by a generous donation from the late Isao Okawa, founder of CSK/Sega.

MIT Media Laboratory Home Page | Events Main Index

  . colloquium series
  . livewire
  . events archive