Affinity spaces – notes from James Paul Gee

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      <h2>How young people live and learn online and out of school</h2>
      Teaching and learning is not reserved for the school setting. A lot of learning actually occurs in a bunch of other settings. This has been the case throughout all of human history but now, in recent history where the internet has taken a more significant place in our society, it has become even more prevalent. The spaces, that are not formal as a school setting is what is called an “affinity space”. These spaces are loosely organized social and cultural settings where many people, in many locations who shares and are connected by interest or passions, share the teaching.

      James Paul Gee talks about the distribution of teaching and learning where many people are moving back and forth among a number of related locations – physical as well as digital – where they try to help each other confront problems that matters within these affinity spaces. Digital media has transformed this type of learning and teaching peers to a normal way of learning and teaching. This is a radical change of how affinity spaces previously functioned.

      Gamers as a type of learner in these contexts often come and go among a wide, wide range of these physical and digital places. These physical and digital spaces are parts of larger affinity spaces. These spaces are also fluid, changes over times as the gamers’ interest and passions evolve, and new technologies are introduced. This focus on affinity space is not an advocacy against formal education – such as schools. If children would be denied access to schools there would be a loss of critical opportunities to learn, interact with peers, and develop their own identity.


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