FN# 4:draft#1:Ana, paint program, drawing, conversation

From: David Scott
Submit: Post Field Note
VisitDate: 10/16/96
Date: 18 Oct 1996
Time: 05:57:38
Remote Name: tsa-27.ucsc.edu



Ana (girl 6)


Last Wednesday at BU was a refreshing change of pace from the hectic experience we had on the previous Friday. There were fewer children, perhaps more educators, and even though a couple of the computers did not have functioning CD-ROM drives, most of the remaining computers had some interesting programs.

I was pleased when as soon as Ana walked into the computer room, she came up to me and asked to use the paint program on a computer. Obviously she had used the program before and enjoyed it. But I was disappointed that she only wanted to draw random scribbles in different colors. I tried to ask her about what she was drawing/wanted to draw, but she either said “I don’t know” or ignored me. Ana seemed to know the program well because she could switch between the different drawing tools and colors apparently at will.

I felt that Ana was pleased with what she was doing as long as she had a smile on her face. But one time I came back to her (I was running around the center a lot as usual) and she seemed bored. We discussed the different computer games that were available, but she wasn’t interested. Ana left to watch other people use the computers.

A little while later I talked to Ana again about what she might like to do on a computer. She said that she liked the drawing programs, but was bored with the one she had been using. So I suggested that we do some old-fashion drawing. I grabbed a box of crayons (96!) and some paper and we went into the other room.

As I would expect from any person of at least her age, Ana was pretty good with the crayons. She drew several landscapes with houses and proudly signed her name in huge letters to the back of each one. I thought I would play amateur psychologist and ask her “Who lives in the house?” I think that Ana thought this was a silly question because she gave me a funny look and shrugged her shoulders.

While we both drew (I was doing pencil sketches of faces from the newspaper), Ana and I had a nice conversation about our families and school. She was pretty shocked to learn that I was still in school.


What I especially liked about my time with Ana was that while she was engaged in the drawing activity, she was still open to communicating with me. Often when people are in front of a screen (computer or even a TV), they shut off the world around them.


Which of the computer activites at BU lend themselves to the type of interaction and communication that I enjoyed with Ana while we were drawing?