Thursday, December 08, 2005

Safety nets

I had a one on one help session with one of the sessionals today and over the course of the discussion there were a few interesting points - one that she wants to be on a Mac, but thought they were too expensive until I told her about the mini, two that she can see how game based learning is good, but gaming on it's own is "bad" and finally how WebCT can really give her some piece of mind, even though she admits that over the holidays she'll likely forget it. If you read the title of the post, you know this isn't going to be a "Macs Rule" posting (they do, but who am I to say ;) Incidentally so does Word Perfect, there are several people who I deal with who still use it and have difficulty in the World of Word), it's also not going to be a game based learning article. I think she understands that fun is important in learning, but has issues trying to place how and where the decontextualized and "unblessed" literacies that are part of COTS games can be used to learn - it's all about context, textbooks are just paper without context, remember that). This is a quick note on how to get people to adapt and adopt new systems. First it seems they need to see a need from their own perspective. And once that need is identified, they need help to see how it can be satisfied. Nothing new here. Next they need to know they can make mistakes. The sessional was worried that she would be annoying me if she sent to many emails or if she needed more help. I told her that was not the case, as that is what "I'm here for" and that I would prefer more that way, there is less to know between visits, and it stays fun because there is always a success just around the corner and lastly she needed to do a bit of it on her own to really get hooked. This shouldn't be new to anyone out there, but it seems that it's the most difficult thing to do for many people and institutions. I think it's because the results are expected and cherished more than the process. But this is counter to what many of us think about learning and education right? What I described above is a process, one that is found to be enjoyable... like a game, and like a game there are risks and rewards and ways to fall back and regroup... (wait, I said this wasn't about game based learning... ah well... fooled you). After all, life really is just a role playing game isn't it? The difference is that there is finality to this one. After the sessional understood the process she was worried that it may be very different on Windows. But I assured her that was not the case by logging on to a Windows box using RDC and showing her what was the going on there. After everything was done she mentioned that she still liked the way the things worked on the Mac... maybe because that is what she had just learned on... or maybe it's just that people know a good thing when they see it. Technorati Tags: , , , ,