As I transitioned out of my role as Program Director at Computers4Kids, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t lose contact with a number of students who I had formed especially close relationships. I had a group of them out to my house on Sunday to “build stuff” as they requested. I provided ingredients for lunch, computers for looking up plans, lumber and simple building tools. Fatuma, college freshman, was our documentarian. Her words and pictures are below.
I love this video. It’s funny and unexpected, but it also can inspire some thought about the intersection between mobile learning, training and authentic tasks (no, really!).
Mastery Learning is Transferable
That frog is really good at that game. Is anyone surprised? That’s what frogs do. The main knowledge transfer is from operating in 3D world to a 2D representation on a screen, but the game still exploits the frog’s rapid reflexes and tongue/eye coordination.
Platforms Change, Skills Remain the Same
The frog doesn’t care if that’s an iPhone or an HTC or a real-life fly. Its scanned the movement and the shape and wants to perform. Design for the task, not for the platform or the OS.
Without Satisfaction, Frustration Reigns
Finally the frog attacks the one 3D object that it can. It’s been denied a tasty treat multiple times when all of its experience tells it that that it should be eating a bug– not just a tidbit, but a critical part of its sustenance. As it fails to get its reward, its body language demonstrates greater urgency.
What are our lessons as designers here?
- Know what compels our learners — design activities that speak to their desires and strengths.
- Design platform- and device-agnostically– Exploit what makes them unique– touch screens, for example, but make sure that activities are high quality.
- Reward with authentic returns. Virtual awards won’t satisfy everyone, or at least not frogs.