Friday, November 26, 2004

Sorry, to lag, busy lately, so will try to catch up a bit. We had a really interesting meeting with Sony Playstation R&D on JB's last visit. From the very beginning, it made sense to put kweb on game platform from both an engineering and a pedagogocal stanpoint. We also discussed gaming with Jaron Lanier and Howard Rheingold, some of which is archived below.

Last week I presented kweb at a really interesting elearning and digital library conference sponsored by Kevin Roebuck at Sun. One of the most interesting idea came from alexandria.ucsb.edu fellow, Freeston (from UK actually) who noted that berzerkely has software that allows you to enter an artifact, see instances of it on a map at a given time, then watch an animated map to see how instances change over time. They can map empires this way (eg the tea kettle ;) apparently the big lesson from this is never invade afganistan
It's kinda klunky, but it'd be so amazing to have icons of artifacts in the kweb timeline, as we discussed, then be able to click on it and map it.
I entered "airport" as search on the 1st link and got a map of australia
Animated examples

dipsea cafe
hlr, bek, jb, pm

hlr: can't write a Constitution in pix, thus text pretty useful (not bandwidth kludge ;)
What Makes Something Fun to Learn? Tom malone (stanford --> parc)http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=802839 http://www.selindaresearch.com/learning.htm
Gee rise of nations led to December 29, 2003 http://infocult.typepad.com/infocult/2003/12/games_informati.html
Games, information, and learning: Rise of Nations

commentary: A new paper from James Paul Gee, "Learning About Learning from a Video Game" http://web.reed.edu/cis/tac/meetings/Rise%20of%20Nations.pdf explores the implicit pedagogy of computer gaming. Focusing on the example of Rise of Nations, the author describes a learner-centered, self-paced, learning style-oriented approach.
Inspired, I downloaded the game, and concur with Gee. RoN has depths to it, beginning with the opening tutorial, a rich introduction to history and interface, intertwined. Repeated play adds more information about the dynamics of national planning and strategy, developed into learning by application and game feedback. Some of schoolings' structures - classes, progressive planned learning, involuntary socialization - are absent. Others appear in new forms: assessment by feedback and victory conditions; constructive learning by building a nation; information absorption. Critical thinking is embedded within the game and its feedback mechanisms: interface, production and development cycles, interaction with other nations. And I haven't gotten to the online multiplayer version yet.
The world's guru of fun, Bernie DeKoven, adds more thinking, noting, first, Gee's subtle point about the future of games and learning. Quoting from the paper:
Shortening and dumbing games down is not an option, since most avid players donÂ’t want short or easy games. Thus, if only to sell well, good games have to incorporate good learning principles in virtue of which they get themselves well learned. Game designers build on each otherÂ’s successes and, in a sort of Darwinian process, good games come to reflect yet better and better learning principles.

Speaking of the future, and thinking of educators, Bernie adds:
It's heady stuff. It has to be in order to be recognized by the community it needs to reach. But it's well worth the read, as are the other three papers in this collection - a taste of the promise of play and hope for the future of learning.
Learning is happening with RoN, on numerous levels. How do we capture this for education? Think of the questions: the fit of gaming cultures with K-12 and academia; mapping game topics and curricula; selection and implementation of preexisting games; the long, hard, storied creation of new ones, perhaps better suited; games as learning objects; the preservation problem. We'll come back to this.
(via Reed College's Technology Advisory Council)
December 29, 2003 at 08:39 in Collaboration tools, Cyberculture Permalink
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Rick Borovoy, former MIT Media Lab Borovoy's vision began to develop during his five years at Apple Computer in the Classrooms of Tomorrow project where he studied the way wireless applications can facilitate kids' learning through the creation of distributed communities. cf folk computing http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=365316
trace sound networks
hlr: b/c technol change so fast, every 5-10 years a new "generation" with different abilites/cognitive domains emerges
--JB: change comes from no man's land between disciplines
--Cave painting were 1st 3d, an initiation into way of thinking?

~ Turner on psychedelic origins of PC (3D?), hlr sez it was Emersonian self reliance http://ryskamp.org/brain/lectures/lecture-fred-turner-from-counterculture-to-cyberculture

Jaron Lanier says America somewhat successful b/c we had hacker founding fathers, hlr sez Monticello a lab

scary: knowledge explodes while literacy fades; but some countries (generations?) may skip literacy the way 3rd world has skipped copper phone lines.

Paul Rankin, former Reuters fellow at Stanford, effect of WWW on tribal people; . As part of that project, he visited a UNESCO telecenter in Timbuktu, where he saw people waiting in line to use the machines, but found that many of them were illiterate, so needed someone to help them with the machine. Hence his goal: Empower the common person to use the internet without a scribe or other intermediary. He was looking for ways that more people per hour could be given access. His target market was both rural and urban poor, but since critical mass of users helped reduce expenses, he focused on the urban poor, looking at Favelas (slums in Brazil. See FavelaFaces.org for both stats and personal histories). These choices created constraints on his technology choices; it needed to be:
Voice-based ...

Lynn Margulis says mitosis is cooperation, deal with it ;) http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/index=books&field-author=Margulis,%2520Lynn/104-7103216-6803925

The Creative Explosion: An Inquiry into the Origins of Art and Religion (Cornell Paperbacks)by John E. Pfeiffer http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0801493080/102-0169215-3879339?v=glance

--interview with founder of Slashdot. a new model of cooperation, wales http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/07/28/1351230
wikipedia in 100 langs?! repairs itself in 4 min but damage costs more than repair cf JWales also dispute resolution on guns, abortion and ____ vs nupedia
both wiki and linux had benevolent but self-effacing dictators. JWales got out of the way when mediation levels provided sufficient filtering. what do we do until we hit this level/critical mass?
hlr: what's a valid connection? jb's 'secret sauce" critical thinking, unexpected
hlr follows the thread (all grist for mill), but how to impart this to kids? [mebbe kweb provides enough of a crutch/support to get a feel of what such "surfing" feels like, what's it's like to follow a scent or stick to the task long enough for payoff, since "mystery Tour" feature in kweb guarantees fun/payoff?]

Blogs give sense of being an author? it's "hard fun" in Allan Kay's sense? it's rhetorical in that the blogger has to filter, craft, condense, and that requires some sense of intended audience. Interesting in that it is an act of belevolence for common good, as author is trying to save time/energy/attention, ie our most valuable commodity [in fact sacrificing own for common good]
books: cod, longitude---
fun zeitgeist: http://www.wordspy.com/words/blog.asp