Monday, 23 January 2012

Interactivity:Too Much Sugar

For a few years now I’ve been making IT resources for education and trained teachers to use them on a range of platforms PC, Macs and IWBs etc. All too often the potential of this material is lost.
Abandonment is the major cause.
The common idea, and practice, that once the computer is all fired up and the kids are away they require no further input. Somehow the programme will do it all and the software developer is now the teacher. Even more of a worry, that the programme is so well made that the child will be entertained maybe even educated and the adults can get on with more important stuff.
Interactivity is required. The interactivity is required because the teachers says this is what captures the children's interest. Then more and more interactivity is demanded. There is a strange idea that interactivity means the child will press a button and zap, excitement and interactivity happens. Does it? Actually often for the child no activity happens. The child is left glazed and still, and just like eating too much sugar, is left unsatisfied and desperate for more and sadly the developers are left competing with each other to make more and more interactivity, more zap.The child becomes numb.
Let’s stop this depleting spiral.
Let's slow down and see what's there.
Let’s make slow food for the mind.
By looking deeper into the software resource and finding ways to integrate this material across the curriculum. How could this resource motivate work in art, drama, literacy, science or social studies? Once these questions are answered, in a practical hands-on way, we the adults can engage with the child again. We can engage in IT learning in the same way we engage in an art lesson or a science lesson, meaning and motivation will return. The child is no longer abandoned. The teacher teaches. The programmes will be truly interactive and hey some learning may happen too

1 comment:

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