Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Space, Place, and the Cell Phone?

Matthew Buckingham - Spring Course at UW

Here is a course that may be of interest to folks at the UW. It is being taught in the Spring by guest lecturer Matthew Buckingham. See Matt S. for more info because he went to the 11/8 presentation. Looks very interesting...

The PDF came from the Comm Arts site (under the heading "news")

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Dewey on Activity

Inspired by John's blog, I tried to read Dewey again and found that many sociocultural learning theories prosperous today may be rooted in Dewey. The following quotes are from Dewey's "The School and Social Progress."

“Personalities which became effective in action were bred and tested in the medium of action. Again, we cannot overlook the importance for educational purposes of the close and intimate acquaintance got with nature at first hand, with real things and materials, with the actual processes of their manipulation, and the knowledge of their social necessities and uses. In all this there was continual training of observation, of ingenuity, constructive imagination, of logical thought, and of the sense of reality acquired through first-hand contact with actualities.” (p.8)
--Does it suggest that expertise is developed ONLY in practice where action takes central stage?

“Verbal memory can be trained in committing tasks, a certain discipline of the reasoning powers can be acquired through lessons in science and mathematics; but, after all, this is somewhat remote and shadowy compared with the training of attention and of judgment that is acquired in having to do things with a real motive behind and a real outcome ahead.” (p.8)
--this is pretty much what Bruner suggested in his “Knowing as Doing” (1996)

“Yet there is a real problem: how shall we retain these advantages, and yet introduce into the school something representing the other side of life—occupations which exact personal responsibilities and which train the child in relation to the physical realities of life?”
--Does it also suggest that technologies such as AR games represent for the opportunity to bridge the gap between school and actual social practice since kids will not have a chance to be involved in real social practice in most cases? If professional practice is the way we wish to teach, how may we utilize AR to achieve that goal?

Friday, November 04, 2005

Dewey on Space

Chapter 2 of Dewey's (1900) School and Society that Mingfong referred to is available online here.
I found the Dewey article "The School and the Life of the Child" extremely worthy of reading and thinking if we want to claim that we need to extend learning from classroom to a broader, richer context outside of the classroom.
-- mingfong jan
I agree that there's some pretty cool ideas on place and space (simple affordances) here that seems to not be very heavily written about or discussed much in educational research since.

Speaking of exceptions... I just got a copy of Liz Ellsworth's latest (2004) Places Of Learning: Media, Architecture, Pedagogy from Amazon yesterday. Hope to read it this weekend and possibly use for my prelims, which, in light of the new arrival, I've delayed until Monday.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

cell phone tracking

The ingredients are swirling around out there. Take the rise of services like this:
Mologogo is a free service that will track a "friends" GPS enabled cell phone from another phone or on the web. Mologogo also serves as a dirt-cheap tracking system, so go ahead and fauxjack something.
Add to that the increase of web-enabled Smart Phones. Then consider the wireless initiatives of Google in San Francisco, and municipalities in Philadelphia, Madison, etc.

I think it might make sense to look at creating a web-based version of the RiverCity game editor (in addition to the GPS-version, given the improbability of deep-woods Wi-Fi coverage, which is what my project would need).

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Another GeoAnnotation program (minus GPS) is working on their version of a "Physical Wikiedia" -- much like the location-based one we were discussing. However, instead of using GPS to bring up entries, they rely on Semapedia Taggers to annotate locations, and 2D bar-codes physically
Our goal is to connect the virtual world with the physical world by bringing the best information from the internet to the relevant place in physical space.

We do this as a community by combining the physical annotation technology of Semacode with the availability of high quality information using the free encyclopedia Wikipedia.