Monday, December 8, 2008

clickin' is for losers

Guiding question: What site would you use to learn about the United Nations?

It's an in-class activity about the United Nations. The teacher provides the handout. The teacher provides the link. Getting to the answer is a three-click event. 1.29seconds (if you used a stopwatch to measure elapsed time).

But that 1.29 seconds is achievable only if users know where to click. In order to reach this world-record time, users had to read some words and phrases on the home page. Terms like 'About the United Nations' and 'Member States'.

What to choose? What to choose? And that's why they don't choose. Why they don't read. Because once they are confronted with choice, once it's an exercise in reading, thinking, and gasp! problem-solving, they run like Artistotle's cave-dwellers, back to the simplistic comforts of the cave. Back to the comforts of Wikipedia.

Because here, it's an all-inclusive locale. Here, everything is click-less. And here, for all its cursory fact-gathering prowess , is a place where students have learned that gasp! problem-solving is not welcome.

Follow-up question: Do we dare tell them about accuracy?

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