[Edu-sig] re: Education Arcade

Arthur ajsiegel at optonline.net
Sun Dec 14 06:17:02 EST 2003

Laura writes -

>Kirby, this is an example of the problem.  When you teach children
>using a simulation, you teach them, in addition to everything else,
>to think within the system that the simulators were using.

This I see as a key point.  

Outside the simulation, what makes 2+2=4 interesting is that 2+2 might =
anything, but *does* equal 4.

Inside the environment, the only options are the provided options.  We learn
well enough that 2+2=4, within the environment.  Without having learned,
convincingly, that that is also true, outside the environment. For good
reason.  Because one thing we do understand - hopefully - without being
taught, is the difference between virtual and real. And in the virtual
world, anything might be made to be true, and from moment to moment. There
is little to be learned, because the thing missing is the thing most
important and the hardest to communicate - a map from the virtual to the

Adults can use simulation effectively because they have the tools to make
that mapping is some reasonable way.  Kids don't.


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