Note to self…

Kids playing video games

Guest post today! It’s me… but me two years ago..!

Do you or your kids play video/computer games?

I wrote this during my Masters year (on ‘Mysteryboxes’, my Masters blog) when I was looking into video games and what we can learn from them about learning and engagement. At the same time I was a concerned parent… What should my kids play? How long should they play them?

Over the course of a year, by paying a little attention, I learned a few things that I felt were worth remembering – so I wrote a ‘note to self’! Having just read it for the first time in a couple of years I stand by it… especially the stuff about “better than TV” and “tantrums”!

I think games can be valuable in learning, but like everything else there needs to be a balance! But I feel as a parent I need to have some control, or sense, of what that balance should be.

So, if any of this sounds familiar please, click here, have a read, and let me know what you think!

 

Getting QReative with World Book Day – part one

capturing stories

Thursday 7th March is World Book Day 2013

On this day all sorts of activities are organised across the globe to celebrate ‘the book’!

One of the events a lot of schools are adopting is the ‘Book Swap’ where young people bring in a book from home, that they’ve already read (and presumably recommend…), and swap it for something new to them.

I love the idea of swapping and sharing stories and so, as my local Primary school was organising a Book Swap, I offered to help, and add a new twist, to sharing stories…

World Book Day logo 2013

Class by class I asked some of the children about their favourite books – Without spoiling the ending, what was the story, who their favourite characters, why did they love this book! I recorded our little chat, and I’m now in the process of editing and uploading to AudioBoo.fm. I’ll then tag the AudioBoo with a QR Code and the QR Code will go in the front of the book.

Soon, these well loved books will be carrying two stories – the one in print and the one in the QR Code. And of course, the next owner could very soon be adding their own story and QR Code… we’ll have to wait and see!

Look out for links to the AudioBoos later in the week – and enjoy World Book Day 2013!

UPDATE: Part Two here

Digital Imaging on iPad (via AudioBoo)

iPad-photos_blog

The images above are on display at Perth Museum and Art Gallery. From left to right, the second, fourth and fifth displays were completed as part of an iPad workshop I led in November 2012 and are exhibited until the end of March.

This week some of the young people who took part in the project, (as part of the Living Communities programme) came back to view their exhibited work and I was able to talk to them about their experience and share those thoughts via AudioBoo which will also be tagged to the work on display via a QR Code.

The interesting thing for me is that the young people are enjoying using the touch screen for the same reasons as I do – immediate, responsive (interactive) and an enjoyable way of working – as opposed to a mouse and multiple clicks. Given the immediate responsive nature of the touch screen I would suggest that it holds more creative potential – see here.

In one of his last keynotes Steve Jobs talked about how the iPad was “people’s favourite device” – backed up only last month by this report. They were enjoying the experience of the web, gaming and even productivity much more on the iPad than they were on desktops or laptops. I’d already had that experience myself but noticed that my son losing interest in his Nintendo DS if the iPad was an option.

So, as exciting as it was to see this work on display it was equally as rewarding to hear that a new found interest was being kindled (no pun intended) through me introducing a touch screen in this context. And, you can hear for yourself in the clips below…

learning-ipad-4

Some of the images in their native form back in November.

learning-ipad-1

Guildtown Project (via AudioBoo)

Guildtown was founded in 1818 by the Guildry Incorporation of Perth.

The Primary School, through a series of interlinked projects (many of them delivered through the Living Communities Programme at Perth Museum and Art Gallery), explored the Guildsmen and the trades that they governed. They also made a mini-documentary including a recreation of how the village may have looked 200 years ago.

In this series of three clips some of the young people involved talk about their learning experience, the trades they learned about and tried out and how they got on making their short film.

My part in this was to capture these thoughts and share them through this AudioBoo which is tagged to artworks, related to the project, currently exhibited at Perth Museum and Art Gallery, via a QR Code.

romans2

Beautiful Fife

My last post had no pictures. This one has lots. Something for everyone then..?!

The Balmullo History QR Code Safari was properly completed recently. For a while a few of the temporary codes had been left in place while we arranged fixings for the permanent ones. Now all of the permanent codes are in place, the final one (see above) being at the local Spar. For more than a hundred years this same building has been the local Post Office (now a Post Office/Spar Shop). The Code is tucked away in the Community Council notice board.

I’m glad to say that whenever I see the children they are still telling me about QR Codes they’ve seen on their travels which is a real indication that at least some of what they learned several months ago has stayed with them.

I had intended on sharing these images long before now – these are sections of a poster, created by the children, to document the entire project from research, design, prototype and implementation.

But the best news I can share today is that the good folk at Fife Council who organise and run ‘Beautiful Fife‘ (best kept towns and villages awards) spotted our trail on their visit to judge the beauty of Balmullo. Apart from the labours of the Community Council they also discovered what they describe as ‘innovation’! Consequently we have been awarded a special new category of ‘Beautiful Fife – Innovation Award‘!

Here’s proof…

Such a great experience and it’s very gratifying for it to be recognised – particularly within the context of another community orientated project.

So thank you to Keith Jackson (Fife Council Parks and Community Events Officer) and everyone at Beautiful Fife and Balmullo Community Council, not to mention Mrs Else, Mrs Haldane and Class 2 at Balmullo PrimaryYou can read more about Beautiful Fife here.