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The Anti-Education Era: Creating Smarter Students through Digital Learning

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  151 ratings  ·  17 reviews
One of the first champions of the positive effects of gaming reveals the dark side of today's digital and social media

Today's schools are eager to use the latest technology in the classroom, but rather than improving learning, the new e-media can just as easily narrow students' horizons. Education innovator James Paul Gee first documented the educational benefits of gaming
ebook, 256 pages
Published January 8th 2013 by St. Martin's Press
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Jul 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
“How to be Stupid” and “How to Get Smart Before it’s Too Late” - they sound like titles of tough-love self-help books, but are in reality two halves of a very thoughtful book on what is wrong with ourselves, our education, our “democracy” etc, and how to make it all better (nice and tidy in 215 pages, no less). From one of my favorite scholars I first read in graduate school, James Paul Gee, this holds no panacea for the educational crisis that faces us, yet holds some questions and answers desi ...more
Paul Signorelli
We won't find the terms personal learning networks (PLNs) or connected learning anywhere in James Paul Gee's wonderfully stimulating book "The Anti-Education Era." But his plea for greater collaboration, the use of what he calls "affinity spaces," and recognition that the combination of "human + tool" is a winning equation suggests that trainer-teacher-learners (and many others) are on the right track by developing those dynamic combinations of people and resources that help us cope with a world ...more
Feb 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
371.33 GEE

1984 by George Orwell

My comment: I think book title does not match the content of book, which address all sort of pitfalls which could make us stupid. Part 1: How to be stupid. Part 2: How to get smart before it's too late.

Do not quite agree with author's view which too much focus on practice, especially personal practice and experience.
e.g p46 ... Some will say: If you can just read, surely you can understand.... You do not need to have had any special experience here or know about n
John  Hill
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've been reading most of Professor Gee's more academic works on linguistics, discourse, multi-modality and the link between video games and reading, so this was a nice change of pace.

While still firmly in Gee's work on discourse and discourse analysis, Anti-Education Era is a much less academic book aimed at those outside of the ivory tower. Despite this, the points that Gee makes still hold quite a bit of water and tie back into his work in academia.

In this book, Gee does a good job at outli
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Misty Morin
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Needs words stronger than "stupid" to describe human tragedy.
Pete Welter
Oct 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
I chose James Paul Gee's book because I hadn't read anything by him before, although I was familiar with his important influences on the field of video games and learning.

Given the subtitle "Creating Smarter Students through Digital Learning," I was expecting a more conventional elaboration on his earlier books on video games and learning. However, in this book Gee waxes more philosophical, speaking on knowledge of learning in the very broad context of our entire culture and society. If you are
Jul 03, 2013 rated it liked it
For the first two-thirds of this book, I actively disliked it. I did not dislike the ideas, I hated the way they were presented. The ideas about how humans are mentally lazy are not new. However, the way Gee wrote about them made him sound depressingly misanthropic. My other issue was that he, who espouses the benefits of empiricism and is a trained linguist, presented no research to back his original arguments in the how humans are "stupid" section. I would have had a much easier time with this ...more
Nov 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: unfinished
Didn't finish. I tried forcing myself to read more, but it just made me angry. Although I may agree with Gee's conclusions, and want to read about his ideas, the style of his writing is extremely off-putting. It assumes an absolute agreement with all of his claims, and he employs a flippant style that belies any claims he may state--why should I agree with anything he says when he doesn't mention any evidence, only anecdotes to illustrate his ideas? Of course he includes the obligatory reference ...more
Jan 07, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: education
Some interesting thoughts but overall I'm not a fan of his writing style and views. He starts out the book with a throwaway line saying people who believe in astrology are deceiving themselves - not only judgmental (on a topic he probably has little expertise in) but totally unnecessary to his main arguments. The book keeps this judgmental tone throughout.
Feb 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
I quite enjoyed James Paul Gee's book, especially the many analogies and examples he used to illustrate his points. I agree with his take on institutions...and how difficult it would be to "unfreeze" entrenched methodologies and ways of thinking.
It's always a delight to read fresh points of view in a world of increasingly dumbing down by the media and by viral social popularity efforts.
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Some excellent points here - preparedness for democratic participation, agency and reflection.

There was no research to back up the first part of the book which was disappointing. And I am not as sceptical as to what one can bring spiritually in their virtual school bag.
Apr 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
The language is blunt and the point is reinforced again and again. This straight-forward book critiquing humanity and all of our social pitfalls also offers some saving graces, which makes this book an interesting venture for people who don't mind the bluntness of his, very often repeated, point.
Sue Lyle
Feb 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
I am biased because I love Gee's work and agree with him.
Feb 05, 2013 rated it liked it
I'd really had high expectations and thought there was more echoing here. Perhaps I'm just too close to those who are doing this work?
Paul Allison
May 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
So What I remember from this book is that the first half is about how the Internet is making us dumber, and the second half is about how it can save us.
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Really great read, but not at all what I expected. More of a socio-political essay. Loved it up till the last chapters.
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Invitation to join us in a Hangout about The Anti-Education Era 1 6 May 19, 2013 12:00PM  
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  • Misreading Masculinity: Boys, Literacy, and Popular Culture
  • The Age of the Image: Redefining Literacy in the a World of Screens
  • Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland?
  • The Adult Learner: The Definitive Classic in Adult Education and Human Resource Development
  • Teaching for Joy and Justice: Re-Imagining the Language Arts Classroom
  • Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn
  • The Multiplier Effect: Tapping the Genius Inside Our Schools
  • How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis
  • Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns
  • Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll
  • The Normal Bar: Where Does Your Relationship Fall?
  • Instructional Coaching: A Partnership Approach to Improving Instruction
  • Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World
  • The Gamification of Learning and Instruction: Game-Based Methods and Strategies for Training and Education
  • World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students
  • Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning
  • So Much Reform, So Little Change: The Persistence of Failure in Urban Schools
James Gee is a researcher who has worked in psycholinguistics, discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, bilingual education, and literacy. Gee is currently the Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies at Arizona State University. Gee is a faculty affiliate of the Games, Learning, and Society group at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and is a member of the National Academy of Educ ...more
“Our world is now so complex, our technology and science so powerful, and our problems so global and interconnected that we have come to the limits of individual human intelligence and individual expertise.” 3 likes
“School is often based not on problem solving, which perforce involves actions and goals, but on learning information, facts, and formulas that one has read about in texts or heard about in lectures. It is not surprising, then, that research has long shown that a student’s doing well in school, in terms of grades and tests, does not correlate with being able to solve problems in the areas in which the student has been taught (e.g., math, civics, physics).” 1 likes
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