Digital Worlds’ DeVane Co-Facilitates Seminar at 2012 AERA Conference

Dr. Ben DeVane, Assistant Professor of Digital Arts & Sciences at the UF Digital Worlds Institute, co-facilitated a 2 day long seminar at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) conference in Vancouver, Canada on April 12-13, 2012. The AERA Conference is a highly respected international meeting of scholars in the fields of education, educational technology and the learning sciences and has become an extremely important vehicle for the study and design of serious games.

Dr. Ben DeVane explored and shed insight on what happens when visual culture theory meets digital media and gaming. During the 20th and 21st centuries, human beings have created and been witness to an explosion of new technologies, forms of communication, e-pedagogies, games, simulations, and automations that have completely re-vamped the way in which information is perceived and processed. These advances have transformed not only perceptual and cognitive processes, but also time, space, and sense of place. Research is now catching up with the visual aspects of perception and cognition with e-literacies and new frameworks that encapsulate as well as exceed the informative and educational power of the written word.

Professor DeVane discussed how Visual Culture Theory (VCT) encompasses a wide array of philosophical and interpretive frameworks, from the ruptures brought about by modernity and nationalism such as ocular-centrism to the elevation of phenomenology and qualitative research. More specifically, Dr. DeVane’s seminar addressed what happens when the benefits of VCT are combined with the resources of Digital Media and gaming. The seminar explored what these new technologies and educational developments mean for students, how they factor into new classroom pedagogies as well as how these advances effect and are effected by the pressures of processing information in the 21st century. The seminar investigated the conceptual and methodological implications of such innovations through the research, projects, and studies of the facilitators.

More background on Dr. DeVane and his research interests can be found in his Digital Worlds faculty profile HERE.

More information on the 2012 AERA Conference can be found at