part of the MSc in E-learning at the University of Edinburgh

Eco bugs as post human pedagogy

I have chosen the Future Lab demonstration of Eco Bugs as my example of a post human pedagogy.

The Eco Bugs ‘game’ may be viewed as a post human ‘gathering’ (Edwards, 2010) of children, game designers, the natural environment and a virtual environment which overlays the real environment but is connected to it through virtual creatures – the Ecobugs.

The intention is to preserve the virtual bug species. The boundary between the game environment and the real environment is blurred as the virtual bugs are affected by aspects of the real environment and vice versa. The children act on/with the virtual bugs to achieve a environmentally worthy outcome. As such the children are encouraged to undertake ‘responsible experimentation as a way of enacting an educational purpose’ (Edwards, 2010). In this entanglement of the human and the non-human the distinction between subject and object is blurred as each is affected by the other in subtle ways. The children learn through a number of hybridised relationships with each other, the virtual bugs and their shared real/virtual environment. Arguable the non-human elements of the game are also learning and adapting to the actions of the human and other non-human elements. Things arise as ‘matters of concern’ (Edwards, 2010) for the children, for example the issue of the litter in the school grounds. Together the gathering of the human and the non-human elements cause a symbiotic change in their shared environment.

The game story may be seen as a ‘fabulation’ – a ‘fiction that offers us a world clearly and radically discontinuous from the one we know, yet returns to confront that known world in some cognitive way’ (Scholes, 1976 cited in Gough, 2004).

Another interesting link with the post human is that the game itself is centered on an environmental theme which it seeks to illuminate in a holistic way, emphasising the inter-dependencies of the biological and the cultural.

Posted by Geraldine May Jones on November 28th, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (1)

One Response to “Eco bugs as post human pedagogy”

  1.   Daniel Griffin Says:

    Hi Geraldine,
    A very interesting choice. I love the idea of a symbiotic relationship between bugs and players (even if only virtual). If the bugs can teach kids to see these types of relationship more easily, then the long term outcome can only be positive.

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