Learning Isn't Fun, Knowing Is Fun

From Slashdot discussion on Edutainment software

As one of my wisest college professors said when students were grubmling about having to learn formal definitions for a mathematics class, “I don’t know where people get the idea that learning is supposed to be fun. Learning can be fun, but it can also be really tough—even downright miserable. Knowing is fun.”—Copid

This was specifically in response to a British study released which showed that students who “read” books on very animated CD-ROMS retained less than those who “read” the books on more text-driven CD-ROMS. The study to me came off as barely helpful because they were comparing the text-based CD-ROMS to those with content which was distracting and unrelated. Of course distracting and unrelated content will make students less likely to follow the material. Isn’t that obvious?

I love the quote though. I think there can be confusion when teachers see students as “engaged” when they are simply using laptops or other technologies. Teachers must create situations in which students can relish solving problems or wrestle with higher-order topics while utilizing more mechanical methods. Let us be careful of the edutainment trap which ends up using a lot of bells and whistles to create curricularly-shallow (yes I know curricularly is not a word) lessons. It should never be about the technology, but what can be accomplished with the technology. Teachers and administrators should be focused on learning objectives, and not how much time/energy students are willing to spend on laptops.

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arvind s. grover

I am a progressive educator, a podcaster (EdTechTalk.com/21cl), a blogger, and dean of faculty of JK-11 school (building a high school) in New York City.