[IAEP] screens (was: Apple Eases Restrictions On iPhone Developers)

Jecel Assumpcao Jr. jecel at merlintec.com
Sat Jun 12 19:27:08 EDT 2010

Alan Kay wrote on Sat, 12 Jun 2010 12:43:14 -0700 (PDT)

> The reason I told Steve a few years ago to make the iPhone screen at least 5" by 8"
> is that the small screens on phones are *really really bad* for good use in education
> (especially for children). This is amazingly not at all understood by a vast number of
> "educators".

While I agree 100%, my experience with teacher is that they look around
their classroom and see their children looking down at their phone
screens instead of at the blackboard. So they think that it would be a
good idea to take what is happening anyway and convert it into an
educational experience.

On the other hand, around 2002 several schools in New York were trying
to bring early Palm Pilot PDAs into the classroom as an alternative to
computers. When I made they same argument you used above I was told that
the children loved it, so I was wrong. I think that the children would
also have loved if you gave each one their own frog, or almost anything
else that was different. It is very important to test any ideas on the
target audience (I saw several children struggle with touch pads, for
example, and wouldn't have designed one into a machine meant for them)
but it is also important to be careful when interpreting the results.

-- Jecel

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