For most people, it is easy to relate that moving the computer mouse moves the cursor on the screen. But this is not so for many of the children in a special school that we are working with. Many of them have difficulties understanding cause-and-effect, and they needed training to learn to use the mouse.
We started off getting the students to use some mouse training programmes. While they were excited about using the computer initially, many of the students quickly became inattentive and unmotivated. We noticed that this was mainly due to the subject matter of the games, they were just simply more interested in other things.
After asking some of the students and teachers, and through observation, we noticed that many of the students in the school really liked “Barney the Purple Dinosaur”, and the moment they see or hear him, they would pay full attention to him.
So we created PowerPoint Slides with Barney to train the students on the relationship between the mouse and the cursor. In the slides, the students would have to move the cursor to “touch” Barney. Everytime they “touch” Barney, he moves to another location and plays a part of a song. To continue, the student would have to continuously move the cursor around the screen to “touch” Barney.
We used this with most of the students and we found that with a subject matter that they are interested in, they have much longer attention span, and are able to learn much faster.
Here is the link to the slides: chase barney
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