Newgrounds hosts an interesting Super Mario physics tutorial which has been remixed from scenes of the original 8-bit game (via Boing Boing). While the video as a pedagogical device likely lacks as it’s non-interactive and features a direct approach of information delivery (it was developed for entertainment, really), I think there are a couple of good ideas here.
First, the idea of remixing culture is nothing new, but the video is an example of what can be done when cultural artifacts are free to use and reuse (although in this case, the artifacts were likely ‘stolen’). Second, the idea that this tutorial is set in a virtual world that is relevant to potential students goes a long way in increasing the likelihood of meaningful learning. Environments such as WebCT, for instance, bear little relevance to a child’s world. Rather, they are born from adult’s ideas of how a learning environment should look. Whereas, if you can build an environment that is more relevant and meaningful to a child’s experience, the potential for learning could be much greater.
I’ve often wondered about social network environments such as hi5 that are so common to adolescents and teens. What would a learning environment look like if we utilized such a model as a starting point?
Update: People interested in this media might also be interested in the Mario Opera series. Brilliant.