Michael Cole

5th Dimension Site Director

Professor, UC San Diego

 

    We found it extremely useful to work in a consortium, where anybody who starts up joins the consortium and then the consortium provides lots of expertise and resources.  So I think the consortium is needed to lower the overhead of doing the work, and thereby increasing the possibility of doing it in the long haul.  Having the consortium does something else that the adults like a lot and which we've been able to exploit in working with the children in some degree, which is one of the areas that we do research on.  This is that insofar as you have kids in faraway places that are doing 5th Dimensions, you can create occasions for kids to interact with each other at a distance.  Now interacting with somebody at a distance means that you have to either have to write to them, or you have to use some high class technology like CU-See-Me or something else like that, to get the kids interacting but to do that means that you have to get the kids to decenter and to engage in a more sophisticated kind of social interaction.  Everything we know theoretically says that that form of activity promotes the intellectual development of children.