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Interdisciplinary perspectives on virtual place-based learning
Lansiquot R., MacDonald S., Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, Switzerland, 2019. 166 pp.  Type: Book (978-3-030324-70-4)
Date Reviewed: Jul 6 2022

The ongoing human and artificial intelligence (AI) coevolution depends on improving our ability to navigate complexity, which characterizes the cutting-edge efforts to utilize big data, multiparametric models, and statistical validation. The unifying theme of the nine detailed, independent contributions in the Interdisciplinary perspectives on virtual place-based learning anthology relates to educational examples for maturing aptitudes and necessary feedback therein.

Building on innate from-childhood abilities, virtual place-based representations enlighten curiosity for appreciating countless non-orthogonal combinations of information, measurements, forms, and content. These abilities started as native competencies for exploring the home, neighborhood, and intersecting overlays that comprise our life journey; cartographic representations include thematic mapping, boundaries, contours, informational color and texture assignments, superimposed text, vectors, and so on. Thus, each example in this anthology expands skill-set requirements for understanding higher dimensional data. This approach adds important aspects to potential educational development experiences; merging explanatory hypertext into animated virtual models, which are as mutually amenable to scientific and technical data as they are to the teaching of history, to the creation of user interactive literature, and even to artistic expressions for experiencing fictional plot-line alternatives. Such open structures are much more robust pedagogically than the classic curriculums, which interlock chains of ideas and particulars into sequences, punctuated by juxtapositions of a few variables such as illustrations, charts, and graphs.

This book is essentially about new directions for teaching the arts, humanities, and sciences, and for the more abstract virtual world of algorithmic transformation. Most intriguing about this book is the strong implication that virtual exploration exercises, even in primary grades, will help to train our future scholars and experts to focus on fuzzy details--which today only geniuses of rare insight notice. If you are looking to think out of the box in your field, or in education per se, then reading this book can be a very worthwhile experience.

Reviewer:  Chaim Scheff Review #: CR147467
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