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Are tools inherently good for GATE students?

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Started by Suzie Vesper 25 Jul 2012 12:35pm () Replies (4)

A colleague and I have been having a discussion about whether a tool by its very nature is particulary useful for working with GATE students. What do you think?  What tools would you identify as being good for GATE?

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  • Suzie Vesper (View all users posts) 25 Jul 2012 8:48pm ()

    Good question!  I guess I was thinking of software, web 2.0 tools and interactive websites.  Therefore my definition is pretty broad :)

  • Mary St George (View all users posts) 26 Jul 2012 3:27pm ()

    In terms of software, it can be said that every tool offers a few seconds of novelty. It cannot be said that every tool requires complex thought, or is suited to expressing complex ideas. I favour software tools that are sufficiently complex to enable adults to produce pleasing creative products with them, that they would be comfortable sharing with a wide audience. If they do not have the potential to be used at this level, they will offer frustration to gifted students who attempt to learn to use them well. 

    The other group of tools I favour are those produced by people currently working within a certain domain as stepping stones for children to build up the skills currently used within that domain. Note that when Scratch was designed for enabling children to understand the fundamentals of programming design, it was so good at achieving its goals that it is now used in a number of 100 level university courses. This group of tools ends up overlapping with the first group.

  • Suzie Vesper (View all users posts) 26 Jul 2012 3:41pm ()

    This sounds like a good approach!  What about at the junior level?  Would you apply the logic of it being a tool that older children could achieve good results with?  I look for 'open ended' creative tools can be used in a variety of ways and expect GATE students to be using them to their full capacity. It is also about the design of the task that the students are asked to complete (or that they design themselves).  Some tools might be capable of expressing complex ideas but are not often used at that level.  Powerpoint is one example!

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