Simulations as Solid Disciplinary Literacy Pedagogy

Overall, using digital simulations to teach disciplinary literacy across all content areas makes for solid pedagogy. Through simulations students engage in critical thinking, domain-specific vocabulary, and they learn to read and write like professionals in the content area as they attempt to accomplish an authentic task. Simulations offer students the ability to scaffold their learning from tasks that utilize simple skills up to tasks that demand highly complex skills. Although demanding, simulations allow students an arena to fail without the same consequences they would experience in real-life, so students are able to engage in self-correcting behavior. Lastly, simulations are also highly engaging, so when they are combined with literacy skills like inference, summary, clarification, and questioning, students are more likely to internalize these skills in meaningful and lasting ways.

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Michael Slowinski
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