Originally Posted by ubergeek
when you are developing a application you go with the market and the market is all apple all touch....
Oh, I understand. It's not the developers' fault. You're obviously at the mercy of not only the market wishes (flashy means learning is easy/fun, don'tcha know, and heaven forbid we have to put any THOUGHT into our learning) but also at the hardware limitations of the device. If you only really have a touch input, then I think it compromises a lot of thinking. Don't get me wrong, smarter people than I should be able to figure this out someday, but for example, budding engineers need to use tools (screwdrivers etc.) to take things apart and see how they work or building materials to put things together.
I think you lose something when you point and click at lego pieces instead of actually building with lego. It may be better than no lego at all, but I think too often we think, "Great, with this app, we don't need to bother with those troublesome lego pieces! And everyone can play with lego, not just kids who have it! It will take up so much less room, and we won't lose pieces, and we can have a never ending supply..." Maybe these kids would be better off with just rocks from the forest than a lego app, you know? And, I think this is what we have to guard against in ed. tech.
I also volunteer in the alt. ed/homeschooling crowd, mostly as the guidance counselor they don't have easy access to, not being at a school.