Monday, 10 March 2008

But I've Done This Before

As the cry of "I've done this before" goes up over the land on a Monday morning, the answer comes from Aristotle:

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

A colleague noted that no-one would pass a driving test after just changing gear once. We get better, faster, use it as a basis for new skills, type letters and manipulate graphics without having to think of how we do something. Repetition is, however, seen as boring. And boredom is the enemy of education these days. Was it always thus? I don't know. I find the world a place of infinite variety, infinite challenges, and the chance to make infinite mistakes. Sometimes I learn from them, sometimes I don't. Life is like that. Varied. Challenging. And only boring if you let it. I like the idea of strengthening the neural pathways by using games. The issue becomes taking skills from the virtual word, and bringing them back into the real world. Typing tutors are easy to transfer from the virtual to the real, but what about other skills?

In a world which relies heavily on computers, does dealing with avatars in a virtual world help you deal with a customer in the real world? Do they react the same? They don't, but are your reactions the same? Do they allow people to achieve excellence by repeating encounters in a controlled manner and allowing the learner to try out different strategies? Or will people just get more frustrated that the real world isn't the same as the virtual one?

What if the word processor made a "quack quack" noise with every spelling mistake? Turn the real world into the virtual. As much of our work is done on computers anyway, isn't it all virtual anyway?

1 comment:

Duncan said...

Yawn - cr*ppy spammer deleted and reported to Blogger. If that's all these wasters have to do with their lives, then they haven't amounted to much, have they.

I hope their mothers don't know what they get up to.

--must be a Monday night/Tuesday morning cycle from the div. Hey ho, I'll just lock down the comments for pre-approval.

What a waste of skin.