The virtual construction of the mind: the role of educational psychology

Carles Monereo i Font


New virtual minds are populating our classrooms. The new occupants of our schools are technological natives: children and adolescents for whom the computer is a fundamental part of everyday life. For them, the interfaces used by ICTs – the language of communication, interaction and learning – are internalised to the point of becoming as embodied and natural as speech itself. This virtual construction of the mind is an unavoidable phenomenon. It brings with it a set of major risks if it is not systematically supported and supervised by educationalists. Because of their age, most educationalists are technological migrants who have had to make the jump from the culture of the printed word to the culture of digitalisation, but who at the same time bring an armoury of resources for managing information presented in textual form – the format that still predominates in ICTs. Without the aid of these resources the new generations may be overwhelmed by a barrage of information that is potentially valid and useful but may also be seriously manipulated, unreliable, or vacuous. This article explores ways in which education, and specifically edumatics (the use of computing inside the educational environment) can respond to the need to construct a virtual mind able to deal successfully with the challenges of the future: what we call a strategic virtual mind.

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