Throughout the history of education, technology tools and related interaction principles have continuously evolved the ways we learn and teach. Learning technology has been around since the Antique and earlier when tangible, kinetic demonstration tools were used to explain complex scientific findings and theories to students. An example of such a learning tool is the Armillary Sphere, an astronomical tool made from a set of concentric wood or brass rings, which had been used for demonstration and observation alike.
In the age of ICT and photo-realistic computer simulation, learning tools have become more sophisticated; however, it seems that the interaction principles crucial to the effectiveness of learning technology have not changed significantly. Interaction Designers have ample scope to improve this situation with interaction concepts that make full use of 21st century technology in order to:
• Enhance collaboration (co-located and networked);
• Manage learning content;
• Create guided content access (smart interfaces);
• Create access to peer & expert networks;
• Provide non-exclusive interfaces;
• Facilitate planning, design, and publishing for learners;
• Tracking of learning path;
Michael Wolf and his company Formula D interactive have worked on several exciting interaction design projects in South Africa in order to create inclusive learning tools for learners and teachers who have no or only little experience with computers. The talk will introduce the audience to the background and theory of interactive learning environments, whilst presenting exciting examples of interaction design projects in the field.
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