Wednesday, October 01, 2003

A boy...

One of our computer programs at Project Read is called Rosetta Stone, and one of the activities on it lets students hear and read words or phrases, then match them from a selection of pictures. We've used it on the Macs for a while, but it's supposed to work on PCs, too. So tonight we were trying it out on our new PC ("new" according to the amount it's been used, not the amount of time we've had it). The first round on level one had four pictures: a boy, a girl, a dog, and a cat.

Computer types: a boy. Computer says: a boy. I click: a boy. Ding! Life is good and I move on.

Computer types: a dog. Computer says: a boy. Uh oh! Panic situation! I click the boy. Nope. The dog. Yep.

Computer types: a girl. Computer says: a boy. The girl wins.

And so on. At this point, were I trying to learn English, this would seem to me like a very cruel joke. Luckily, this was just a test drive, so I just found it funny. It was even worse when I set it to the mode that only spoke the words, and didn't display them. Spot checking the rest of the CD showed a red car, a horse jumping over a fence, and the number six, a man brushing a woman's hair, and two different kinds of fish. All were referred to as "a boy."

I think I'll just stick with the Macs, thank-you-very-much.

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