Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Technology damaged learning

I was devastated when my 5 year old son came home and said that he didn't like computers. Accounts from a 5 year old of what actually happens at school are prone to inaccuracies and exaggerations, but it was clear that he felt, or had been made to feel, that he wasn't very good at computers. Apparently, he had been told off for taking too long to complete some godforsaken educational typing tutor 'game'. Anyway, the problem was easily fixed. I opened up NotePad and encouraged him to take as long as he liked, typing whatever he liked, making as many mistakes as he liked. No bouncing clowns or stupid multi-media distractions. Just simple and ultra-easy. Just the keyboard, some words and someone who cares to provide help and encouragement. When you are just beginning, things need to be as simple as possible.

I kind of see OpenSim as the equivalent of NotePad in this context. By hiding some of the 'features' of virtual worlds from new users, it might be easier for them to get a handle on things. It might also be easier for someone who cares to provide help and encouragement.

1 comment:

dave said...

It takes some doing to get a 5 year old to dislike technology...