The educational value of having multiple mouses on a PC

Reading the Microsoft Research headlines this news attracted my attention: “MultiPoint, technology originating from Microsoft Research India, enables multiple computer mice to be connected to a single PC, thereby enhancing the educational value of that PC.”

While it is easy to see the economical value of the idea, the question is: what is the educational value of having multiple controls on the same machine? I sketch here a possible answer.

Parallel controls on a shared computation. One of the script we work with on CSCL (Computer Supported Collaborative Learning) consists in splitting the controls of a simulation to the different participants. Each participant is in charge of a part of the simulation. It this way for the team to succeed it is important to coordinate the control efforts.

Coordinating, in this case means discussing pros and cons of each action, which was demonstrated to be connected to higher learning performances.


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