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Technology, Cognition and Behavior

How does modern technology influence human learning, behavior, and relationships?

The course integrates perspectives from cognitive science, psychology, philosophy, education, and design to examine the potential impacts of digital technology on the mind.  In addition to examining theoretical claims and research evidence, we will develop practical applications by creating educational videogames or other digital media projects for children with developmental disabilities. 

Inside the Classroom

Students will examine questions about the nature of mind and humanity in light of technological advances. Through readings, discussion, demonstrations, and experimentation, we will consider impacts of modern technology in general, and of videogames in particular.  Students will learn basic videogame design and programming and will analyze the role of games in education and special education.

Outside the Classroom

Our community will visit research labs and tech companies that are working on applications of virtual reality and game technology for education and psychology. In addition, teams of students will collaborate with a local family that has a child with special needs to create a game, or other digital media project, that aims to help that child meet an educational goal. Over Fall Break, students will travel to the San Francisco bay area to visit with technology experts and scholars.

Research and Capstone Project

Students will present their collaborative digital projects to the university community, and to other interested families and community organizations.  In addition, we will showcase the projects on our website and distribute them freely to families and communities who might benefit.

Course Fast Facts

Faculty:
Beth Crawford, Ph.D.

Years Offered: 2013–14, 2014–15

Fall course:
PSYC 299: Technology, Cognition and Behavior (1 unit)

Spring course:
IDST 290: Technology, Cognition and Behavior Seminar (.5 unit)

Group travel:
Northern California