Response to James Paul Gee: Solving Big, Complex Problems


This week in my CEP 812 course I was asked to read the preface, Chapters 1-3, Chapter 7, Chapter 10, and Chapters 15-16 in the book by James Paul Gee (2013) entitled The Anti-Education Era: Creating Smarter Students through Digital Learning, and then formalize a response based on Gee’s explanation to answer the following question: What limitations prevent us from solving big, complex problems smartly?

In my response linked below, I answer this BIG question by summarizing pieces from each assigned chapter in which I identify what I believe are the three major limitations that result from our current education system and how we currently use technology. Of course, this is my own analysis of the text, and I apologize if the organization of my response is as jumbled as my thoughts. There was SO much information to take in and several complex ideas I wanted to touch on…it was hard to limit myself to three major limitations. Enjoy.

Response to James Paul Gee

Side note: I wasn’t able to get the text shipped to my house in time, so I ended up downloading the book using iBooks on my iPad. Initially, I was frustrated because I felt that the digital text would prevent me from being an active reader (making notes in the margin, highlighting, etc); however, with so many complex ideas presented, I found that the digital book allowed me to organize my notes and made my in-text references much easier to locate. The note taking feature and highlighting function in iBooks allowed me to interact with the text much more efficiently than I previously have been able to with hardcopies. I have used iBooks for pleasure reading but this is a first for informational reading and I am pleased to say that it was a positive change.


Gee, J. P. (2013). The Anti-Education Era: Creating Smarter Students through Digital Learning.

Image:  James Paul Gee, The Anti-Education Era, January 25, 2014 via Google Images,  Creative Commons  License


One thought on “Response to James Paul Gee: Solving Big, Complex Problems

  1. Gee’s book has so many valuable points, it is interesting to see what others are focusing on in this assignment. I agree that too many people are not using technology tools effectively, using them more as a crutch to avoid the work required to build a strong educational foundation instead of enhancing our abilities. I also found Gee’s observation that despite the amount of diversity in ideas available to us, we tend to isolate ourselves more. I see this in my students from time to time, instead of being able to have an informed debate that gets students thinking, they will just spend their time finding another voice on the internet that agrees with them instead of engaging in critical thought. It is more important for them for be “right” rather than understand things in a deeper way. It seems like we simply can’t agree to disagree anymore in discourse, someone has to be “right” and “wrong”. This indeed makes us act stupidly. I enjoyed reading your paper.

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