The emergence of digital technology in the 21st century has allowed for an unprecedented amount of information and systems to merge the personal and online sphere. Digital blurring, as the name implies, refers to the blur between the professional and the personal environment (Hanna, 1998). Allowing for the skills gathered in the personal life to transition to the professional sphere. Digital Burring is the invisible distinction between our personal world and our work or study world – this line or distinction being the carrier for skills and information (Hanna, 1998). Although the professional setting referred to in the digital blurring phenomenon, needs not be limited to the workforce, but also other areas such as education.
One aspect of digital blurring which is said to provoke positively on a student’s learning experience is gaming. To put this into perspective, many studies have reflected on gaming and its impact on future job roles, for instance many of the skills taught and reinforced through gaming such as collaboration, problem solving, and communication, are the skills important for future jobs (Maddison, 2014). Another important aspect of learning in the early development phase of a student is the “play” factor, that is, the incorporation of creative digital technologies for creative, experimental and purposeful goal orientated activities to help learners achieve desired learning outcomes. As a result, by combining games in the classroom setting can motivate and encourage students in a more engaging manner that will help develop their learning experience (Loy, 2014). Ultimately, the choice of game and the technical innovation behind the game genre will help students to appreciate and enhance their learning experience at large.
In an increasing media converging society, one of the challenges is how to distinguish what type of content can be beneficial to learners (Hanna, 1998). Whether learners are being taught how to prepare meals, how to stay in shape, how to study for a subject or plan a trip, the educative experience is greatly facilitated by a range of digital solutions. The role of an educator to those wishing to be educated, is one that combines the available resources including digital technologies and online content, such as application, websites, gaming and much more to the modern classroom to increase the user experience and thus promote the learning cycle for a student. Whilst digital technology may not directly give a learner the immediate skills to address a problem, the aim or hope is that I will give the learner a means to address future problems or issues of similar circumstances – skills for future application. Howell (2012) discusses how the use of virtual worlds in a classroom setting may allow for different user needs therefore creating a greater level of student participation and interest. These virtual spaces are able to be tailored to specific needs including lesson content, student skill levels etc. (Howell, 2012).
Hanna, D. E. (1998). Higher education in an era of digital competition: Emerging organizational models. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 2(1), 66-95.
Howell, J. (2012), Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration & creativity. South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press.
Madison, E. (2014). Training Digital Age Journalists Blurring the Distinction between Students and Professionals. Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, 69(3), 314-324.
Loy, J. (2014). eLearning and eMaking: 3D Printing Blurring the Digital and the Physical. Education Sciences, 4(1), 108-121.