Friday, January 6, 2012

The Road to Effective Digital Products

For about a year I have been reading teacher blogs, "listening" to online discussions about education and technology, analyzing research of teaching methods and tools, and taking digital products for test drives. It has been an interesting exploration of what works and what doesn't, what's needed, and what the research tells us about improving educational experiences for students.

As I gathered information, my ideas and understandings have gradually shifted. I started in the lane that follows the highway--digital products that follow print products like eBooks and digital textbooks. This route can be efficient, especially during times of heavy traffic. It provides more options. The driver and turn off on many side roads instead of the few designated exits from the highway.

One of the side roads I chose led to the gaming community--all games, all the time. That's a bit extreme and something I don't think society is ready for, but it was interesting to consider and made me realize there's much to learn from gaming.

I'm currently searching for the middle road that I believe is still under construction. I've heard discussions about the blending of education and the gaming models, but I haven't found a good example. Those that say they provide this blend are either too heavy on one side or the other or don't have a lot of depth. At least, not in the neighborhoods I have visited. I'd be happy to visit Middletown if someone can give me directions.

In the meantime, I'm developing my own ideas for educational tools for Middletown. They incorporate elements of gaming as well as researched pedagogy. They are fun, engaging, and addictive. They teach skills and strategies without getting in the way of the fun. Yet students leave knowing how to apply those skills and strategies.

With the help of just the right app developer, I can make these tools a reality. It's time to take a drive down Ed Tech Lane and see who is willing to join me on a ride down Main St. in Middletown.

No comments:

Post a Comment