richmondmathewson at gmail.com
Thu Jun 25 02:20:15 CDT 2009
> Judy: I second your motion that it is possible to make something
> fascinating enough to encourage young people to "go swimming" in the
> knowledge pool, and then want dive in again tomorrow.
> Richmond: "It is perfectly possible to present educational materials
> in an interesting and absorbing fashion without cheapening it all with
> By what logic is "entertainment" necessarily "cheap" ? In fact the
> best entertainment is very expensive! N'est ce pas?
> Here at the monastery we watch TV and have "EDU" nights.
That makes me radically readjust my concept of what the word 'monastic'
> I find most TED talks extremely entertaining. (Not everyone does, but
> I do) ( Every Revolution programmer should run (not walk) to view the
> TED talk "Hole in the Wall" . BBC Documentaries by brave
> anthropologists trekking into rain forests talking with indigenous
> peoples, are both, educational and entertaining, but cost 100's of
> thousand of pounds to produce-- not "cheap."
Aha! Then my 'attack' was launched on the basis of an understanding
(yes, I , too, love Bear Grylls!): what I understood (and understand) by
'edutainment' consists of computer games, that, while purporting to be
educational, have their educational content (if there is any) so
buried under the cutesy animated characters and multimedia effects that
the user/pupil is almost completely unaware of it and is
"led down the garden path" by the rest.
> We have RunRev 10 Thumbs typing program here and young Potriyan from
> Malaysia spent his summer vacation in Hawaii and he loved that
> program. It's very well designed. he found it "entertaining" and got
> up to 50words a minute error free typing, so... "tainment" does not
> necessarily mean it has to be "silly song and dance show"...
> intellectually challenging can be very "entertaining" -- beautiful
> graphics (theoretically our forte) are "entertaining"
> The original Snakes and Ladders games was designed in India. We have a
> copy of the original game, it is *incredibly* sophisticated and
> pedagogical at the same time... A sanskrit scholar was visiting from
> India recently, we had him translate for us all 280 squares... It
> could take you days and days playing this thing, all you do is roll
> dice but you learn a lot. But very entertaining (and even humorous...
> if you roll the dice and you are on a particular square you may slide
> off the board and end up on "Jaina" territory... very in joke... but
> educational, Jainism is not Hinduism... i.e. off the board.
> Entertaining. In this case, something that fits Lynns model:
> "technological bells and whistles" are minimal (roll dice: up a ladder
> or down a snake) but the content is super rich.
"Jainism is not Hinduism"; no I suppose it isn't, but you will have to
admit that Hinduism has what cognitive linguists term 'fuzzy
boundaries'. And Jainism, like Buddhism, does share certain
characteristics (such as Karma, Ahimsa and reincarnation) with Hinduism.
Um, sorry, badly OT there.
> This would suggest that a given eduTainment software title, is only as
> "cheap" as it's content and design.
> Richard: Thank you for the wonderful analysis: You are quite right,
> our little "ebooks" are really just that: print matter repurposed
> onto cards... I have a few much cooler things in the hopper.
> "In delivering educational materials, it adds value to deliver it in
> an application to the degree that the material is dependent on
> interaction." well said...
> Back on my original point here: Send me examples!
> so far I have "off list" some excellent things: Sona Vocabulary; Learn
> Japanese Sllabaries, Randal's excellent little "tutor's" Baseball
> Math, Word Racer, State Capitals SE.
> Randals pieces are marvelous examples of reducing a learning task to
> very small modular units, that are digestible by very young and fit
> the kind of delivery context I thinking of. They are focused on the
> learning with just a "tad" of gaming edge, enough to pull the students
> along... State Capitals SE I found quite entertaining. good job...
> Richmond and Judy! Send me some of your titles (smile) (or point me
> to where I can buy them)
Dear Sivakatirswami, I will never sell you anything; although if you can
give me the address of a suitable (private) FTP site I
will gladly send you the original stacks of several of my 'things'
(probably the more 'tainment' ones . . . ) for you to look at, use,
flush away, or modify to suit your needs.
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