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Recent technological developments in the field of ICT have a major impact on our work and social experiences. With the help of interaction designers and their strategies to make technology work for the human condition, we can rightly claim that ICT tools add real value to our lives in various areas. Unfortunately, this is not the case when looking at education. Here, it seems as though things are moving slower than anywhere else. In the following article, which is based on my presentation at IxDA conference this January in Toronto, I’d like to propose various engagement points for interaction designers to make technology count for education.
A “user experience” of schooling
The prevalent learning experience
•Learning is seen as work, even by primary school kids
•Learning is disconnected from ‘real-life’ experiences of learners
•Learning is usually restricted to a classroom
•Learners are divided into age groups; irrespective of personal development
•Learners have little or no influence on learning content and methods
•An insufficient integration of information technology and interfaces
My wish list for 21st century learning experience
•Learning should be rewarding and propelled through curiosity inherent to human nature
•Learning should be linked to real world experiences and challenges
•Learning should be open to the activities outside of the classroom (e.g. flipped classroom)
•Learn groups should be flexible toward personal interest and progress
•Learners should influence what they learn and how
•Learners should have access to state of the art technology
So, what is the scope of interaction design for learning?
Whilst everybody talks about changing learning through technology, I am more concerned about the successful integration of technology to support the condition of learning through interaction design. As we speak policy makers spend huge budgets to fit out computer labs for the sake of introducing technology to schools oblivious to the fact that computer labs and the particular interaction this enforces are a thing of the past.
A report by the New Media Consortium (NMC) released this January suggests six key technologies for learning in pre-college education (K-12) to be adopted within 1-5 years. It becomes obvious that the effectiveness of these technologies is tightly linked to interaction design.
Short-term (within 12 months)
•Mobile devices and apps
Mid-term (within 2-3 years)
•Personal learning environments (PLE’s)
Long-term (within 5 years)
•Natural user interfaces
In the following passage, I am going to explain the potential of these technologies laying out some challenges for interaction design whilst bringing several examples of our work at Formula D interactive.
For the full transcrip please visit: www.designtalk.co.za