From: Jakob Schulze
Submit: Post Field Note
Date: 10 Oct 1996
Remote Name: ss1-pc29.ucsc.edu
refers to Annie and to David
Ana, a girl,about 6 years old (i hope the spelling is right) adults: Annie, Jakob (and David in the situation before)
Ana approached the computer smiling, she said she likes the "lion king" and has seen the movie many times. I had expected her to be more shy, because using a computer was new to her. At first she didn't know where to click or what to do, because there are no visual hints what to do. Then we figured out that she can basically try whatever she wants. I told her she can't break anything. She seemed easier then. She came to a puzzle (9 pieces) and seemed interested in solving it, but then leaned back and said "I can't". After Annie and I pushed her a little and showed her how to place the first piece she did it increasingly well, although she stopped from time to time, saying "I can't". When she was more familiar with this kind of puzzle, she just wanted to go on doing this, but I pushed her to try something else. When she became more comfortable with that idea, unfortunately time was up.
The toons she likes gave her the initial kick to start the activity.
Her virtual friends in the game seemed to be enough support for her or maybe, unlike adults, kids are not stunned by technology.
"lion king" gives very little guidance. Pro: kids discover it themselves. Con: they might feel a little lost in the beginning.
"I can't": after reading David's fieldnote, it appeared to me that Ana's "I can't" seems to get well reinforced. I also found it cute.
That leads to some inquiries about our role in this situation.
While prefering intrinsic motivation, how much extrinsic motivation like moving toons or whatever helps in the long run? In which situations?
From the "I can't" situation: what is our role? how do we react in this situation? why do we react in this way? what are our goals? what do we think, the kid's goals should be? we wish them to be independent, but in the situation we are pleased when kids show behavior that implies that we are there to solve their problems? (see also David's fieldnote about lion king)