Here are sources and inspirations that added fuel to the fire.
EDUCATIONAL MULTIMEDIA PROJECTS
Dynamic Content Presentation
Qwiki is a content presentation tool that can search for any topic and sources text, images, and videos, then converts them into a synamic presentation with infographics and an electronic voice. This kind of dynamic content sourcing and presentation is exactly what I want to do for my project, however mine will be more controlled and have standardised information based on current textbook information. Qwiki can be considered a competitor, but not a direct one as we’re in different markets.
Scale of the Universe
This flash project is a fun, informative, and useful too that presents basic information on everything that we understand about our universe, from the smallest concept of string theory, to the estimated size of our universe. It’s an excellent educational tool and very easy to understand. Projects like this emphasize the usefulness of my final project and serve as a wonderful inspiration and guide on how I should construct my content presentation systems.
Near Future Vision Demonstrating Possibilities
Microsoft’s vision for the future, although amazing, is completely possible. The technologies demonstrated in this conceptual video are in development today and many have already been publicly demonstrated. This is the future of technology and how it will impact our lives, so looking at the education system we have now, are we preparing the children of today for a world such as this? The trend is to stick to our 200 year old education methods and as technology and society progress we let children walk blind into the information age. This video is an eye opener as to what kinds of technology will be possible and gives my project a place among them.
Unreal Engine Solar System
Thi video shows how a game engine can be used to create a visually stunning, interactive learning environment. It uses the Unreal engine to show our solar system and all the information about it from the composition of the planet’s atmospheres to the constellations in the sky and their histories. This is a perfect example of how education can be exploratory and engaging. Although my project doesn’t work in this style, it’s a great inspiration and confirmation that education can be fun.
Here is where I first heard of the term ‘Distributed Cognition’. The project demonstrated in the video below shows how digital and physical tools can help children understand and learn faster than if they had to do everything in their heads. Spreading thought processes to multiple tools can improve a students learning experience and is an important lesson to keep in mind as my project is a learning tool. I need to ensure that my project serves and a tool that a student can distribute some cognition to. Tools such as these can be considered secondary competitors to my project.
Connexions is a digital textbook system where the pieces of information can be selected and updated individually so schools can customise their own textbooks. This is a direct competitor to my project as we’re both targeting the same market and trying to solve the same problem, but I believe what Connexions is lacking is a designed experience. It still presents the information in the traditional textual format and once it’s in the students hands it won’t function very differently from a normal textbook, except it’s on a screen. Connexions tries to solve the problems on the side of administration and content, but not the student problems of boring presentation and limited learning experiences.
Gaming As Education
Educational games have been horrible, unengaging, and outright boring for a long time. The gaming industry, however, has grown to an unbelievable scale and children and adult alike can spend days playing video games. So what is wrong with ‘educational games’? Great games aren’t easy, nor are they void of content or learning requirements, it’s all about game design and a well designed game can communicate any kind of information successfully. I would like to implement some game mechanics into my content presentation, not as actual games, but the principals on how to motivate will be a great addition to my project.
This future learning short documentary is a compilation of thoughts, techniques, and technologies from a group of educational innovators. Currently it’s the most inspirational thing for me to create my project.
A retro ‘House of the Future’ concept video from 1957. My original idea was a ‘Classroom of the Future’ but with technology available today, just like this video and homes, to prove what is possible.
What I consider to be the best Ken Robinson video. Animated by RSA Animate, Ken points out the flaws of current education systems and talks about what needs to be done. This video was one of the earliest pieces of media that got me interested in education in the first place and really opened my eyes to what education was really about, rather than what the system has made it.
Shift Happens is a series of videos that communicate how the world is changing based on facts and statistics. This particular one addresses educational transformations and how technology is affecting how we learn. A real eye opener if you haven’t seen it.
Video Game High School is a 9 episode web series produced by YouTube animator and director, Freddie Wong. Although completely fictitious, the concept of a school that teaches students how to live in a revolutionary way is interesting. Also, it begs the question, ‘Why isn’t school this fun anyway?’.