Considering children as the users radiates a compelling excitement when viewed from a number of different perspectives. First, the children really can write programs that do serious things. Their programs use symbols to stand for objects, contain loops and recursions, require a fair amount of visualization of alternative strategies before a tactic is chosen, and involve interactive discovery and removal of “bugs” in their ideas. Second, the kids love it! The interactive nature of the dialogue, the fact that they are in control, the feeling that they are doing real things rather than playing with toys or working out “assigned” problems, the pictorial and auditory nature of their results, all contribute to a tremendous sense of accomplishment to their experience. Their attention spans are measured in hours rather than minutes.
I would say this nugget is directly related to my IP project which is about implementing gaming into formal education for future generation, or also called the digital natives. Even though, the authors don’t specifically discuss about game-based learning, the two prominent features of technology in education, engagement and entertainment, are pertaining corresponding benefits. Personal dynamic media, or Dynabook, offers real-time interaction, plus captivating graphics and interfaces, that indirectly but intentionally prompts children to learn and extrude their creativity. Particularly here, they mention how Dynabook uses simple, graphical symbols to help younger kids learn programming. As a Computer Science discipline, I find it is very amusing because coding has a tough and boring nature itself, thus learning to code deems to be an unpopular path to many people. Such prejudice about coding as well as many other “boring” textbooks and lectures could be voided to this appealing pictorial and auditory features of technology. Minecraft is one of many popular games theses days. I am very surprise to learn how much kids love and attract to it. Yet the learning outcome that expresses through kids’ cognitive capabilities are even more astonishing. They are able to really do some programming at young age and able to solve sequence of complex problems. Moreover, they are volunteer to sit down and “learn”, without any complains. I believe through the mean of dynamic media computing, game-based learning will be the next major transformation in the digital natives’ generations.