No question that computer touch screens that enable you to bounce around a few topics quickly are here to stay. But watch many of them in use and you’ll see they are quickly abandoned. One screen after another promising more and more text to read wears thin pretty quickly.
The solution, particularly with young people is to serve them up an environment that challenges them and rewards them in multiple ways. We created an exhibit called Treasure Chest that a) looks like a treasure chest, b) is easy to understand and start playing, c) rewards proper choices with 6 second video clips that are interesting to a child and don’t demand too much time, and d) as the game progresses, on screen animations reward right choices and at the end their initials go on the game’s leader board for bragging rights. Engaged kids, having fun and learning! So perfect!
Experiential learning that involves “see, hear and do” has been examined for years and supported because it works best. Forget all the studies though and look at the reaction from the 3 children playing it. The truth of its effectiveness … They had a lot of fun and they can now talk knowledgeably about great blue herons or river eels for at least 6 seconds each. That’s a big win for what they perceived was just a fun game.