Thursday, June 09, 2011

Learning with Gestures

A sneak peek at Windows 8 reveals that Microsoft wants to integrate its os with tablet hardware to keep up with the huge growth in people's desire for the gestural UI of tablet devices. This should be a much bigger post because there are so many issues this transformation raises for schools but all I can come up with right now is a list of problems to think about and questions:

  • How does learning through apps restrict learning possibilities and how does it facilitate new learning possibilities?
  • Microsoft seems to be trying to simplify the user experience while still providing access to the file system (explorer.exe still exists!) but iOS removes a layer of user control in that sense. What happens to the learner when this level of control is taken away? Granted, file systems are simply TMI to many users, but if you know what you are looking for and aren't allowed access to it that takes away an important level of control over your machine.
  • The rush to gestural UI is happening so fast. My feeling is we're being led into making significant decisions about how best to provide and use technology by consumer preferences. It's way too early to say learning with apps is more effective than learning with software on a more open and transparent os. Of course, both can be effective, but it all comes down to how they are used, and there's still so much to learn about that.
Much more to say, but it will have to come in future posts...

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