Monday, November 19, 2007

Kids' laptop designs catch fire on the web

Life is funny. Just yesterday I was co-teaching the blogging session at the North Carolina Writers' Network conference, and one of our take-home messages was that you never know which of your posts will catch on. You just need to keep writing and let the serendipity of the web do its magic.

Then today, a project that resulted from something I wrote a couple of months ago burst onto the net and caught fire to an unexpected degree. Back in September, I wrote on my CNET blog about kids' laptop designs--the product of second and third graders who were drawing detailed laptop interfaces on construction paper "computers." I thought it was really interesting to see what the kids had already internalized about computers and which functions they should perform, but I assumed the story would end there.



The designs caught the eye of Rosecrans Baldwin, the editor of the website The Morning News. He asked if I could collect a few more designs for him and he'd turn them into a featured gallery.

I said sure and sent Rosecrans a packet of artwork, and he interviewed me about what I thought the designs told us about kids interacting with computers.

The Laptop Club gallery was published this morning on the front page of The Morning News, and to my surprise and delight this story has caught on. It has been linked to by
BoingBoing,
Wired,
and MetaFilter, among others.

I never would have predicted how this story would have taken off. The comments on MetaFilter were pretty funny for me to read. The kids' designs feature lots of buttons dedicated to pets, and sounds like more than one adult is jealous that they don't have a "kitten" key on their laptops.

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