A Community of Designers Learning Through Exchanging Questions and Answers
One week into her design of an educational video game, 10-year-old Renee asked the following question:
How do you make words appear on the screen when you reach a certain point of the screen or you reach a shape that is on the screen?
This query itself might be unsurprising, but the fact that this quiet girl addressed it to the combined populations of two classrooms, rather than to a teacher or one of her friends, is unusual. In the environment described in this chapter, however, it was welcome and became a frequent occurrence. Seven fifth graders answered this question, three from Renee's class and four from the other. Of these children, four were male and three were female, three were African-American, one was Hispanic, and three were Caucasian. Given that these two classes rarely had contact about academic matters, and that even among themselves, these boys and girls most often asked questions of friends of their own gender, these responses were somewhat surprising. After receiving eight helpful messages, Renee replied to her own question, saying:
Stop answering this question. #1, 1 have too many answers, and #2, I have solved my problem and am using something else. Thank-you very much.
Two children replied to that message with additional information.