Transcript of Interview with Stefan Kreitmayer at London Knowledge Lab25-01-2013Leon Cych (LC)
- I'm with Stefan Kreitmayer at the London Knowledge Lab andtalking about iPads for Education and I've noticed on the (sort of) spec that you'reone of the few people who's doing a kind of blended use of iPads and er sort of face to face dynamics; can you tell us a bit about what you do?
Stefan Kreitmayer (SK)
- Yeah, my Ph.D research is in how to design technologiesfor encouraging collaboration and discussion in large groups. So the idea is canyou build an application that people can play together as a group of 20 or 30 peoplethat you have in a classroom with a teacher there, monitoring and facilitating so anapp for multi, multi users, if you want.So it's not just several people but it's groups within groups, so that everybody canengage, they can collaborate and they can share ideas between each other.
- So, in a sense, you're talking about physically in the room or are you talkingabout people in several rooms, in different, at distance.
- That would be the next challenge, no, at the moment, we are thinking abouthow can you use what a classroom is, which is one expert and many many novicesand how can you use that as a potential rather than as a problem. See, normally incomputer lab sessions, the problem is often that there's one teacher and 30 peopleand the teacher can only attend 1 or 2 at a time and the others need helpconstantly, so most of the time you're unsupervised if you work on your own or inpairs and whereas our approach is finding a way to get everybody engaged at thesame time and also use opportunities for peer teaching and so if you are stuck withsomething, you have your neighbour just working on the same task and they mightbe able to contribute an idea that you need and so.
- So how, let me ask the question, so how can an iPad give you better affordances than say face to face and pen and paper, or as I know you useprojectors and things; what is it about the iPad that augments that process?
- Ha, so …when you say better than face to face, that's actually, in a waywrong, because we are using face to face we are using the iPad as a face to facetool erm in a similar way that you can have these massive interactive tabletops butthey are expensive; they are very difficult to lug around; hard to get into aclassroom; you know it's a heavy piece of furniture like a piano (laughs) erm andyou can't have 30 people around one; you can have, like, the table size 4/ 6 peoplethat's the limit, so you'd have to have multiple of those and then again fragment thegroup so that wouldn't really solve the problem.
- So you're saying to me that there are things on the iPads that are happening inreal time, synchronously, that's the thing I'm trying to get over to people.