grant opportunities[collaborative spaces]
a Digital Media Commons program to fund student research on the use of rich media in collaborative learning
Modern software development is no longer limited to developing applications for single users anchored to their desktop computers: miniaturization and wireless communication advances have given us portable devices with very different form-factors, from small, lightweight devices like cellular phones and handheld computers to larger (and more powerful) laptops and tablet computers, all of which are capable of “talking” to one another. Most software developers, though, still create applications that are targeted for one form-factor or another; and any intra-device communication is usually limited to simple file transfers. There is no reason why people cannot build cohesive applications that span different devices, taking advantage of the different display size, portability, and computational power characteristics of the different devices. Further, there is no reason why these applications could not allow many people to participate simultaneously. Note, that this paradigm is not simply the networking of devices together; the idea is to actually draw users together into a single proximity, to promote communication and social interaction.
The goal of this project is twofold: (1) to create a framework that allows for the easy development of educational simulation games under a new, multi-device technological paradigm, and (2) the creation of a demonstration (demo) game, using this framework, to illustrate the educational benefits of this new paradigm, which we term Local-Global.
This paradigm draws upon the Participatory Simulation work done here and at the MIT Media Lab and is made possible by the form-factors of new computational devices, such as touch-sensitive handheld computers and Tablet PCs. A Local-Global simulation allows a global simulation game to be played simultaneously by multiple users, who are able to make localized adjustments to the simulation game’s parameters, and observe how these small local-level manipulations can combine to impact the status of the global simulation environment. The demonstration game will be something akin to a digital fish tank: an environment populated by autonomous creatures that feed and breed. The users will be able to inspect the creatures and manipulate them with the aid of the handheld “microscopes”, and will be able to view the effect of their manipulations on the game environment by watching the simulation play out on the larger display of the tablet PC.
Makiko Kawamura, Undergraduate Student, School of Art and Design
Joseph Lee, Graduate Student, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Leilah Lyons, Graduate Student, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Richard Vath, Graduate Student, Combined Program in Education and Psychology
Advisor: Chris Quintana, Assistant Professor, School of Education
GROCS is a program of the Digital Media Commons and is sponsored by the Office of the Provost.