Schooled by 5-8 year olds: Mouse Skills Needed
Early on in the development of DreamBox Learning K-2 Math, as we began beta testing with 4-8 year olds, we figured out that our users would have a variety of mouse skills. For some, this was the first time they’d used a computer, so they had little to no experience using a mouse. For others, they were experts. Drag and drop? No problem!
As you can imagine, this variance made a big difference in user satisfaction with our lessons and games. We searched for an existing tool to help young students develop these skills. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any high-quality, free mouse tutorials that were geared toward this age group. (This was 1-½ years ago.) Most were for grown-ups. What to do?
DreamBox Learning Confronts Mouse Coordination for Kindergarten to Second Grade Kids:
We approached this as we would any other set of curricula. We thought about the steps needed to build the skill and set about designing activities that matched this. The result: our Mouse Midway games. Kids first encounter the balloon popping game. This simply requires moving the mouse over the balloon to pop it. Second they play the bowling pin game, where users must click on each bowling pin. Third is the turtle drag and drop game. Users must click and hold the turtle, then drag it to the water and release it. Each game requires a slightly more difficult skill than the one before it. And each has a timer so kids can see how many balloons they can pop, or how many turtles they can drop, before the time’s up. The more they play, the more their skills improve.
Because it’s important that users have adequate mouse abilities, these games can be played as part of DreamBox at anytime by going to the Carnival and then to the Arcade. They’re a lot of fun for kids and adults. Go ahead, challenge your child! See who earns the highest score. If appropriate, give yourself a handicap by using your inferior hand.
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