Digital Media and Education: The Pros and Cons
More on the panel discussion on digital media and elementary education that I participated in yesterday:
Although everyone on the panel was open to the exciting possibilities offered by educational technology there was plenty of talk about the potential drawbacks of tech, and about the difference between good digital products and lousy ones. This is from the excellent summary of the event written by Slate’s Torie Bosch:
“Scott Traylor, founder of 360Kid, noted that while almost any video game can teach a child something, they are ‘not all created equal.’ Some game developers are much more informed about learning than others. Educational psychologist Alice Wilder echoed this perspective, too. In her work with the popular kids’ shows Blues’ Clues and Super Why!, she said, she works with kids and with education experts to figure out the best approaches. Involving children in every step of the testing process is vital. But sometimes, video game developers with good intentions base their decisions solely on their experiences with their own kids, without taking pedagogical research into account . . .
Anyone who has played a video game knows that traps can lurk behind any graphic, and that’s true in the ed-tech space as well. Annie Murphy Paul cautioned against ‘chocolate-covered broccoli’: boring education wrapped up in technology. And Traylor and Paul both expressed reservations about the use of gamification and badges that turn learning into a sort of competition. We want kids to be excited about learning for its—and their—own sake.
Even with all this enthusiasm about games and virtual worlds, though, books still have a place in the classroom. In a video produced by Hear Me, an organization that encourages the grown-up world to listen to youth voices, one child said, ‘I think reading books is better because sometimes . . . picturing it in your mind is more fun.’”
Amen to that. Read more here.