CSE 619: BIG Thinkers

Photo Essay:

I thought The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman was very interesting. It was refreshing to read something outside of my usual studies of education. I was unsure if I was going to like the book because it begins by discussing doors and how people use these signifiers to determine how to open them, but as I continued to read it became fascinating to think about the interactions we have subconsciously. This caused me to start noticing these interactions, such as the doors. While at Starbucks I began to observe people trying to open the door the incorrect way. I thought it was strange that so many people would try to open it improperly until I was leaving and noticed there is no sign to indicate if you need to push or pull. And to make things more confusing, the handle on both sides was the same, giving no indication of how to approach it. I have provided a picture of the door below, and as you can see the handles look like you would pull, but they are push.

Since my major is education, I could not help linking the book to lesson plans. The seven stages of action are used everyday by teachers while creating and executing lesson plans in the classroom. These lesson plans need to be thought out to a great extent, and I feel as though I go through the seven steps for each one. Teachers begin by creating a goal they want their students to achieve. From there they plan how they want to introduce the topic, what activities should be involved, what resources could be utilized, what are the time constraints, etc. After planning all of those details, the teacher then must specify the sequence in which the lesson plans will be put into action, what order will work the best to help reduce misconceptions and promote learning. It is then time to put the lesson plans into action in the classroom. Students learn through the lecture, activities, worksheets, and interactions, all while the teacher is making observations (perceiving the state of the students/classroom). Once the lesson or unit is completed, it is time for the teacher to interpret the work the students have completed. Did they make any growth? Were there any misconceptions? At the end of interpreting the information, teachers compare it with their overall goal from the beginning. They ask themselves if anything need to be taught again or if the students understand/met the goal.

In chapter five, it was nice to learn that my difficulties with machines may not be entirely my fault, but the design faults. So many times I have been at my other job as a cashier at a little market and watched people struggle to swipe their card and answer all the questions on the card machine. The machine usually does not accept cards on the first swipe so customers need to try at least one more time. I find myself constantly reassuring customers that it is not them, but the machine because every time they make a facial expression showing defeat. They feel as though they did not swipe it fast or slow enough or maybe they swiped the wrong part of the card. However, it is the machine that cannot read the card correctly.



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