A few years back we took a group of fifth graders to a camp. While we were there we got to try out archery. One of my students was a lefty so I asked for a lefty bow for him. The instructor said to me, it isn’t about right or left handedness, but eye dominance. That clicked for me. Growing up in the south I couldn’t shoot the broad side of a barn and never could figure out why, when I aimed I missed but if I just threw up a BB gun without aiming I could hit something. I had been aiming with the wrong eye the whole time!
I said, “What have I messed up, the dock you can move it to the bottom.”
To which he responded “No, it is on the wrong side.”
That is when I realized that I work on the left side of my screen, which is why my dock is on the right. If I ever have two documents open at the same time. The dominant document will be on the left and the other is on the right.
Then I thought about my iPad and my phone. All of my heavy usage apps are either on my doc or on the left side of my screens.
This got me thinking about what it might mean for students. Especially when they are scanning a screen for an app. Or splitting a screen on a desktop to do work. Is eye dominance something that we need to consider? Should we teach them to work with their dominant eye? Or is this something that comes naturally.
One thing that we don’t do with the iPads in grades three-five is tell them how to organize them. We leave that up to the students. We might tell them to have an app on the doc for a period of time, because we are using it frequently, but we don’t dictate how they choose to arrange their iPad. But this makes me wonder if it is something that we should point out to them, to help them understand better ways to organize themselves.
Even in the course of writing this blog I noticed that in my blog posts I always put the pictures in the center or on the right. This is probably the first where I have put it on the left, and it bugs me!