This presentation on mobile telephones and their potential as a tool for educational gaming / projects was so well attended that attendees spilled out of the door.
Wildlab spoke first on their project http://www.thewildlab.com/ a
project to document 100 most populous birds in NY using cell phones to report text and photograph incidence/.
Parsons petlab (prototyping, evaluation, teaching/learning) http://petlab.parsons.edu/about – posed questions how do we get kids to move from hanging out to geeking out – how mobile phones can be used for social change –discussed reactivism – a location based game based on sites around NYC where activism has taken place – http://petlab.parsons.edu/projects/reactivism-nyc/
has now been replicated in Minneapolis, Cand soon-Hungary- they do this by making openware tools available for others to adapt.
Settlers of Manhatton is a recent project. wakatta.parsons.edu/mtg/M-TG_DesDoc_11_30.doc the premise of this game is to envision Manhattan island when Dutch ships arrived – you’re a trader trading pelts and your location in Manhattan is built into the game. Biggest learning moment offered by petlab --you need to be able to prototype right on the phones and then get out into the field. Tech issues –ATT overload in Union sq created iphone probs with GPS info.
Eric Klopfer MIT http://education.mit.edu/talks/klopfer-picnic.pdf spoke about 2 cases – location matters games and games where location does not matter. Spoke specifically about Timelab 2100 – a phone based game where participants make small environmental changes in the past i.e. now, to effect change in the future 2100 . The MIT team have developed a toolkit to help people adapt the game to their own geographic area – include pull in of google maps, datasets etc, interview virtual characters – a simpler toolkit allows kids to build their own games.
Also discussed a program called Community Science Investigators in Boston and St Louis – where young people gather GPS data, build augmented reality games. Also discussed Palmagotchi -- a tamagotchi-like game but in a Darwinian world – participants have to have a diverse ecology for their pet to survive . A further game-Ubiquitous – was discussed – like card game/pokemon – but here your superhero cards and their powers are influenced by weather conditions – participants need to decide which of their characters to play given a simulated weather system. Ubiqbio is a High School game currently being developed.
Playpower.org – http://playpower.org/
based on computers sold for $10 around the world millie project was discussed– a project to develop games to run on these low cost computers to target English language learning around world and be tied to curricula around the world. Much of the project’s focus is on girls because of historic problem with continuous attendance at school. Process was to involve young people in design process. Hoping to work with Sesame Community workshops soon.
One issue brought up by all presenters is that you have to develop for one platform and it’s constantly changing.
This has been the most interesting DML2010 presentation I have attended so far.