Yes they are. They can

  • Tell a complex story in a few images
  • Provide comment and provoke thought on events and issues in the news
  • Give an example of vocabulary related to current trends and fads
  • Provide easily identifiable characters to form the basis for sketches
  • Show culture in action with the ways that men or women are behaving and are expected to behave
  • Comment on and illustrate a whole range of issues like racism, teenage relationships, sexism, ageism, family relationships.



The development of high performance computing and communications is creating new media, such as the World Wide Web and virtual realities. In turn, these new media enable new types of messages and experiences; for example, interpersonal interactions in immersive, synthetic environments lead to the formation of virtual communities. The innovative kinds of pedagogy empowered by these emerging media, messages, and experiences are driving a transformation of traditional "teaching by telling" to an alternative instructional paradigm: distributed learning. If the substantial barriers to change discussed later in this testimony are overcome, within two decades American schooling will shift to new models of teaching/learning better suited to developing 21st century workers and citizens for a knowledge-based society.

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