J. Mestre, Ed. (Information Age, Greenwich, CT, 2005),
19. E. Klopfer,
Augmented Reality: Research and Design of
Mobile Educational Games
(MIT Press, Cambridge, MA,
20. M. Dunleavy, C. Dede, R. Mitchell,
J. Sci. Educ. Technol.
10.1007/s10956-008-9119-1, published online
8 September 2008.
21. P. O
Shea, R. Mitchell, C. Johnston, C. Dede,
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22. My research team
s studies of virtual reality and
multiuser virtual environments (MUVEs) are funded by
the NSF, and our research on augmented reality is
funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Any
opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations
expressed in this material are those of the author and do
not necessarily reflect the views of these funding
Supporting Online Material
Figs. S1 to S7
Technology and Informal Education:
What Is Taught, What Is Learned
Patricia M. Greenfield
The informal learning environments of television, video games, and the Internet are producing learners with a
new profile of cognitive skills. This profile features widespread and sophisticated development of visual-spatial
skills, such as iconic representation and spatial visualization. A pressing social problem is the prevalence
of violent video games, leading to desensitization, aggressive behavior, and gender inequity in opportunities
to develop visual-spatial skills. Formal education must adapt to these changes, taking advantage of new
strengths in visual-spatial intelligence and compensating for new weaknesses in higher-order cognitive
processes: abstract vocabulary, mindfulness, reflection, inductive problem solving, critical thinking, and
imagination. These develop through the use of an older technology, reading, which, along with audio
media such as radio, also stimulates imagination. Informal education therefore requires a balanced media
diet using each technology
s specific strengths in order to develop a complete profile of cognitive skills.
what goes on outside
of the classroom
shapes our thought pro-
cesses as they develop from early childhood.
Media technologies are an extremely impor-
tant part of informal learning environments.
Media are also part of formal learning envi-
ronments, the subject of other papers in this
special issue on educational technology. The
technologies composing the informal learning
environment are generally intended for enter-
tainment rather than education. However, they
are important sources of cognitive socialization,
often laying the foundation for knowledge ac-
quisition in school.
In the midst of much press about the de-
creasing use of the print medium and failing
schools, a countervailing trend may come as a
surprise: the continuing global rise in IQ per-
formance over more than 100 years. This rise,
known as the Flynn effect, is concentrated in
nonverbal IQ performance (mainly tested through
visual tests) but has also occurred, albeit to a lesser
extent, in verbal IQ (
). Rising IQ performance