Supporting play with digital media: Informal learning in the Fifth Dimension

Masters, Jennifer E. & Nykvist, Shaun S. (2006) Supporting play with digital media: Informal learning in the Fifth Dimension. In Mendez-Vilas, A., Solano Martin, A., Mesa Gonzalez, J., & Mesa Gonzalez, J. A. (Eds.) International Conference on Multimedia and Information and Communication Technolegies in Education, 22-25 November 2006, Seville, Spain.


This paper describes a project established in an out-of-school environment to study children using digital media, incorporating computers and peripheral equipment such as digital cameras, in fun and informal ways. In this setting the students are supported to create their own digital media resources such as movies, web pages and animations. The project is an iteration of "The Fifth Dimension" - a world-wide network of similar sites in USA, Brazil, Mexico, Scandinavia and also in Barcelona, Spain. The Fifth Dimension (5D) sites operate as diverse educational settings where researchers, teachers, students/pre-service tea-chers and children collaborate to create and sustain their community and activities. The concept of the Fifth Dimension evolved from research [1] dedicated to developing inclusive learning contexts where children who may not be successful in traditional classrooms could experience success in learning. This model of learning differs significantly to traditional schooling as it emphasises children’s potential as learners, teachers and active participants in their learning community. The use of technologies in informal learning settings is of considerable interest to educational research. It is commonly identified that children naturally access and use new technologies as part of their everyday lives [2] and therefore it is important to educators to find out how and what children learn through the informal use of digital technologies. Further, it is likely that we can learn from observing these interactions and use these ideas to help design new approaches to formal education

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ID Code: 5736
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the conference website (see link) or contact the author. Author contact details:
Additional URLs:
Keywords: digital media, informal learning
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development (130202)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Educational Technology and Computing (130306)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 07 Dec 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2011 05:41

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