Software, Cough, Work

Properly back to work today, after a slight respite yesterday with a lovely day off for Pip’s last day of skule holiday. We had a lovely time, involving Blue Peter, the Blue Peter appeal, sale-clothes-shopping, finishing Xmas book-reading project and writing it up (“The Hodgeheg” by Dick King-Smith), violin practice, art on the computer, writing letters to fairies, a good ol’ game of “Moles” and reading “The Reptile Room“. Lovely!

Desperate Housewives” = so far, so good. [was wrong] And “ER” back tomorrow! Oh, and I’ve got a stupid cough.

Random thoughts re. skule software. I think I’ve done enough “teaching” now to see the shortfalls of Infant IT provision:
The programs used are either too simplistic – any reasonably able child walks straight through them and soon exhausts any built-in charm/amusement factor or they are too complex – less able children are almost immediately bogged down, and the charm/amusement factor does not work to encourage, only to amuse. Some of the software (there is a graphing program I’m thinking of here), is simply badly-designed cr*p.
It is almost impossible to leave an infant-age child of any inquisitiveness without them “fiddling” – and with Windows, this means moving work areas/pallettes around, accidentally right-clicking and calling up menus, accidentally hitting keys and activating functions, printing, etc. This holds up everything while the assistant/teacher has to come and sort out the problem.
Oh yes! Printers – using expensive ink cartridges is just nuts.
So, back to the software – the less able kids soon learn to simply click repetitively at all available options until they hit the correct one – thus, they learn nothing except how to “cheat” the software. This “click until you get it right” strategy works for most of the software packages. What is needed is a more organic software which will guide a child to the correct answer, rather than remaining mute.
Schools seem to be tied to a particular software, and are also (rightly) worried about access rights/virals etc.
What’s the solution?


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