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Geocaching, Geotagging, Flickr, WikiWiki, Web-blogs, and Live Journal in Education: New Generation of Learning Projects of City Streets and Internet Communities
Patarakin E.D., Yastrebtzeva E.N. Geocaching, Geotagging, Flickr, WikiWiki, Web-blogs, and Live Journal in education: New Generation of learning projects of city streets and network communities. – Мoscow.: Institute for development of Educational Technologies, 2006. 34 с. This practical guidance has been created on the basis of learning materials of educational network community of K-12 teachers and pre-service teachers, who are participants of Intel® Teach for the Future Program. The key project that participants of the network community develop is creation and investigation of usage models of school encyclopedia and digital map of Russian cities and towns. The project implies collective usage of public Internet services and a variety of play and study activities that are connected with mobile devices, such as handhelds, GPS-navigators, cell phones, video cameras, digital photo cameras, and other systems which integrate all the above functions. For educationalists, who are involved in project based learning and research work with schoolchildren and university students using up-to-date digital technologies and Internet-based services. This publication was made with the support from Intel ® Teach to the Future Program and can be distributed free of charge.
© E.Patarakin, Е.Yastrebtzeva, 2006 © Institute for Development of Educational Technologies, 2006
List of Contents:
CITY STREETS LEARNING PROJECTS ........................................................4 GPS AND GPS RECEIVERS.................................................................................7 USING OF GPS RECEIVER IN BRIEF...............................................................................8 USING GPS RECEIVERS ...................................................................................10 GEOCACHING ..........................................................................................................10 GEOTAGGING .........................................................................................................12 BLOGS AND LIVE JOURNALS ........................................................................14 BLOG.....................................................................................................................14 LIVE JOURNAL .......................................................................................................15 HOW TO JOIN THE COMMUNITY IN BRIEF.......................................................................16 FLICKR..................................................................................................................17 HOW TO SHOW YOUR CITY TO COMMUNITY IN BRIEF......................................................18 WIKIWIKI.............................................................................................................20 SPECIAL WIKIWIKI IN BRIEF .....................................................................................22 CITY STREETS LEARNING PROJECTS IN INTEL® TEACH FOR THE FUTURE PROGRAM ..........................................................................................23 NETWORK RESOURCES LINKS:....................................................................28
City streets learning projects
Extended reality is first of all an opportunity to see the world through another person’s eyes Kim Veltman This practical guidance has been created on the basis of learning materials of educational network community of school and university teachers, who are participants of Intel® Teach for the Future Program. The key project that participants of the network community develop is creation and use of school encyclopedia and digital map of Russian cities and towns. The project implies collective use of public network services and a variety of play and study activities that are connected with mobile devices, such as handhelds, GPS-navigators, cell phones, video cameras, digital photo cameras, and other systems integrating all the above functions. Due to development of digital technologies teaching practice adopts devices and tools that help schoolchildren extract and use data during walks and traveling. Wide spread of computers and mobile technologies allows to incorporate various open sites beyond school walls in the teaching process. Nowadays city parks, squares and streets turn into school classes. We used to know that all these places were also involved in learning process, but now we can consolidate and integrate them in a common learning context. Quite recently school learning activities in the open and study in computer laboratories were separated from each other. Schoolchildren went on excursions to gather data that were brought to the classroom to build computer models or create presentations. Today mobile devices allow to obtain source digital materials directly in city streets. Point location, digital photographs, audio and video recording – all this can be conducted using affordable mobile devices directly in city streets. The main advantage of these devices is that they enable to store and process information. Besides, they enable access to IT systems, and promote to people’s collaboration in acting and thinking. Learning activity in city streets using mobile devices can be
extended due to use of network technologies. As a result, learning project participants do not only act in local context of city or village streets, but also become familiar with such global network concepts as databases, digital maps, and open encyclopedias.
Moscow schoolchildren examine Lyamtsa village using GPS-navigators to make a site plan, and create a virtual excursion (the photo is provided by www.redu.ru)
Groups of schoolchildren have been creating virtual learning excursions in various Russian regions for several years already. As a rule, the final form of presenting information is hypertext. Thus, Moscow schoolchildren create virtual hypertext excursions using materials of school expedition1. At that, information of all village sites is connected with maximum logical connections. Thus, data of villagers are connected with information of houses, where they live, their households, folklore texts provided by them, as well as with each other if people are relatives. The basis of such organization is an outline plan of the village. “Entering” houses a user can become familiar with their owners and learn all information connected with them.
Demin I.S., Using computer tools in expedition activities http://www.researcher.ru/methodics/method/infoteh/a_xr4ko.html
In 2002 schoolchildren of 14 villages of Nizhny Novgorod Region worked at creating a collective hypertext. The key idea of a collective hypertext is an opportunity to read the same document in multiple ways. Additional information that extends the message text is stored in databases from various villages2,3. Each object has a corresponding line with the following cells: Name; Image; Text description; Audio; Video. These words have specific meaning for each village. We can call and open this meaning by using a special program filter or by looking at the text through the village view filter. Texts of the stories were created by teams of schoolchildren and were performed as compositions “One day of a pupil in Nizhny Novgorod village…” Overlapping of the composition texts with database lines allows seeing multidimensional world created from a diversity of links and reminiscences.
Patarakin E.D., Using Digital Collections in Learning Communications http://ifets.ieee.org/russian/depository/v6_i2/html/s2.html 3 Patarakin E.D., Forms of Network Communication http://ifets.ieee.org/russian/depository/v7_i2/html/6.html
GPS and GPS receivers
In order you who are rooted and confirmed in love, could behold with all Saints what latitude, and longitude, and altitude are. Paul. To Ephesians. 3. 18 System of global positioning that is employed all over the world is supported by the USA Department of Defense and is called Global Positioning System, GPS. The system includes 24 satellites moving at low altitudes of low earth orbit.
Satellites send radio signals to the Earth. Radio signal power is too weak for the system to be used in close spaces. In places, where the sky is closed by heavy foliage, in mountain ravines, or under high building walls it is almost impossible to use GPS signals. To receive GPS signals, special GPS receivers are used. These are compact devices, exterior of which resembles that of cell phones. It is worth mentioning that in the nearest future mobile phones will integrate GPS receivers, forever setting people free from the fear of getting lost.
GPS receiver receives signal from GPS in-orbit satellites and defines its location in any point of the world. How precisely the location is defined depends on a number of satellites, signals of which have been received. To define a location, stable signals from at least three satellites are required. Location preciseness varies usually from 8 to several dozens meters. Based on received signals the device informs a user of point coordinates (latitude, longitude, and altitude). For example, coordinates of Sergievskaya Church in Nizhny Novgorod are: 56 degrees 19 minutes 39 seconds of north latitude and 49 degrees 59 minutes 22 seconds of east longitude. In digital representation they are: N 56°19'39'' and Е 43°59'22''.
There is a great variety of GPS receivers. Even within a model line of one manufacturer they differ considerably in terms of their capabilities, such as quantity of channels used to receive signals from satellites, number of points and routes that a receiver can store in its memory. The simplest (and the most affordable) receiver is Garmin’s 12-channel Etreх. The device can store up to 500 points and store 1 route consisting of 50 points. Using of GPS receiver in brief To the right On and Switch buttons are located: PWR – ON/OFF and Page – Page switching, passing from one page to another To the left option buttons are located:
↑ Up ↓ Down Selection confirmed To define locations and make up a route, it is necessary to fulfill the following actions: 1. Switch on the device using PWR button. The following message appears: “Please wait. Searching for satellites” – sometimes the device is searching for satellites for more than 5 minutes. 2. Wait until the device informs, “Ready to navigation. 20-meter precision”. Use Page button to move to Main Menu Page, 1. Menu 2. Mark the point 3. Points 4. Route 5. Ways, 5. Settings 6. Battery charging
3. Move to Mark Point mode. In the lower part of the screen coordinates appear, e.g., altitude: 167 m, N 56 19.583, E 44 00 430. Confirm the selection
Using GPS receivers
Since advent of GPS devices, various services using their capabilities have appeared. The services are first of all connected with automobile traveling, when a navigator helps follow from one route point to another. Travelers and nature explorers in forests, mountains, and water use GPS receivers to mark certain points and make up routes. Besides business activities, some gaming and educational activities using handheld GPS receivers have been developed. These are, first of all, geocaching and geotagging. Geocaching The first trend, geocaching ("geocaching", from Greek "geo" - Earth, English "cache" – hiding place) is connected with searching for caches or guessing riddles about geographical coordinates. The main idea is that some players hide caches, define their coordinates using GPS and present these coordinates in the Internet, while other players use these coordinates and GPS receivers to search for caches. In educational geocaching players use GPS receiver capabilities to fulfill tasks. Geocaching can be used not only for training in up-to-date technologies, but also for teaching in geography, history, literature and local lore studies. Play leaders hide small treasures in secret places and specify their geographical coordinates in the Internet. In this training model a teacher works as a trailbreaker. He marks points on the map, gathers materials to check precise location, and breaks the trail for his students from one point to another. A player or a group of players are given a list of points to attend. Players must locate the points, find objects that are hidden there or answer the questions. In each point players fulfill simple tasks and make notes in their route sheet to confirm that the task has been fulfilled. In summer and autumn of 2005 geocaching educational games were held in several Russian cities: Nizhny Novgorod, Irkutsk, Khabarovsk, Novosibirsk, Pskov, Porkhov and Voronezh. In
all cities games aroused great interest. When organizing the game, main workload and constructive activities are carried out by teachers, who mark the points, make up questions to the points, and place points along the route. General route sheet scheme looks the following way: Point coordinates Place description Question For example: Lat=56.1946 long=43.59,66 In 1506, at that very place Fyodor Litvich hit Nagaisk mirza, Mohammed-Amin's brother in law in chest with a cannonball. After what is the church in this location named? [Ilya Prorok] Questions that organizers of educational geocaching ask the players are divided in the four following types: 1. Questions for attention and searching activities around a specified point. Answers to these questions require attention and keenness of observation. Often, people don’t pay attention to surrounding objects. Thus, the question “Find wisemen playing chess near the location” makes people raise their heads and see plastic images of wisemen at the roof of a house. If a question contains an attached old photograph, searching for an answer to the question “What doesn’t correspond to reality in this photo?” makes players find objects that have either appeared or disappeared in this place. 2. Questions for knowledge of historical facts and communicative activities. Searching for an answer to the question "What was here earlier?" implies that participants either know the history of a place, or will be able to address local population and learn “why this place is called the Black Pond”, “why this square is called Osharskaya” etc. 3. Questions for local measurements. Answers to these questions can be obtained by using GPS receiver capabilities. For example, a stadium area can be found out by measuring it with a measure tape, or by marking perimeter points and receiving data of distance between these points from GPS stations. 4. Questions – marks of educational geocaching game. These are funny tasks that are communicated from one game to another. From
the very first educational geocaching game such task was a question “Bring a photo of a man in red trousers”. At the finishing stage of educational geocaching game, teams prepare computer presentations telling of the tours. Geotagging The other game model was used in educational games with GPS receivers in Ekaterinburg and Saratov. Searching for the most interesting points, defining their location, adding digital photographs and stories to the objects were entrusted to players. The task of every team was to create virtual traveling over their city for a limited period of time. Though many locations in teams’ final presentations were the same, each traveling was unique. Virtual city tours created within the framework of virtual GPS travelings allow us to connect geographical locations with ideas and reminiscences of people of different generations. Due to that we can remember that Jupiter concert hall situated at Varnavskaya Street is a former building of the Party Education House, and before 1960-ies a Church of Saint Varvara was situated here. This educational trend of GPS navigator use is called geotagging. Geotagging (“geotagging”, from Greek "geo" - Earth, English "tag" – mark, label) is based on using points, where a photograph is taken, as tags for geographical GPS coordinates. Project participants present new photographs in the network, supplying them with description and key words, i.e. tags, according to which the photograph can be further located. Using such tags, players can combine stories and photographs presented in project participants’ collection with Google digital maps service, and obtain an image of location, where a photograph has been taken, at maps.Google.com. Geotagging development is connected with using new services that were defined as Social Software. These services have considerably simplified process of creating and publishing materials in the network. Now every person can not only obtain access to digital collections, but also take part in forming his own network content. Today new content is created by millions of people, who bring new texts, photographs, drawings, musical files in the
network. At that communication between people ever often takes the form of mutual observation of network activities, not direct exchange of utterances. Joint actions of participants of today’s network communities often have gregarious character. Just like a form of bird flock is made as a result of each bird fulfilling simple operations, complicated behaviour of network community is formed as a result of individual behaviour of its members. No one directs actions of individual players, but their simple behaviour is the basis to form complex collective behaviour. As a rule, the simpler individual behaviour guidelines are, the more complex character collective behaviour has. The following network communities can serve an example of such gregarious communities based on new dataware: • Network communities based on blog technologies that have been introduced to Russian-language users in the form of Live Journal project. In the end of 2004 ACM Communications devoted to blogs a special issue running under the remarkable title “Blogosphere”. • Encyclopedias of collective authorship based on WikiWiki technology. Here one should first of all mention Wikipedia.org project. When using Wiki, a person may not pay attention to using HyperText markup language instructions. A text of any collection page is interpreted by the program as a hypertext. Hypertext page space can be defined as Wikosphere. • Network communities supporting free public object classification. Today the most popular one among such collective storages is Flickr.com. Public system of photograph storage implies user interaction. Since the basis for classification tools is a tag concept, this sphere of activity can be defined as Tagosphere.
Blogs and Live Journals
Blog Blog (web-log) is a collection of records extended via Webinterface. The term blog stems from Web-logging. According to the definition of SlashDot, “Blog is a new private way of electronic community evolution. It can serve as an example to show how people use network to build their own communication environment”. As a rule, these are consecutive records presented by one person, an owner of the blog or journal. These records often contain annotated links to other resources published in the network. Blogs are distinguished not as much by the records’ structure, but by how simple adding a new records is. A user just addresses a Web-server, passes identification and adds a new record to his collection. The server presents information as succession of messages, with the latest messages being placed on the top. Collection structure actually resembles usual consecutive diary or journal structure. Blog distinguishing features: • Reverse record order – the latest records are published on the top. As a rule, only the latest records are published on the first page of the blog, while others are available in the archive. • Feedback. The blog invites readers to express their opinion. Feedback invitation is published immediately after the record. In this way a commented blog is similar to the Internet forum. • The only author. As a rule, blog records’ author is one person. Only blog owners and authors may offer a topic and initiate discussion. • Integration capabilities. Blog format allows to integrate content of several author’s blogs in one page. • Editing using usual browser. • Stable links. Every message published in the blog has its URL, i.e. address referring to which one can address the message.
The last of the above characteristics, i.e. link stability plays an important role when establishing relations between people and messages. If a message doesn’t have a stable network address, it does not have network document status. Such message cannot be referred to from another document, or found by program agents. Live Journal The most famous and popular among Russian audience is LiveJournal, LJ for short. LiveJournal technology developers have paid much attention to users’ acquaintance and interaction capabilities. As a result, they managed to create a very transparent and consistent mechanism of community formation. Using LiveJournal capabilities, a person can keep his diary records. He can keep them without showing to anybody, and the service will still work. However the biggest part of live journal capabilities is connected with interaction and observation for other users’ messages. These messages are tracked via friendship mechanism. LiveJournal friendship is rather a specific concept. Each LiveJournal author forms his own page, where the messages he writes appear. To add a person in LiveJournal friends list means just to sign for the news he presents in his network diary. News subscription from any live journal page looks like forming a list of friends. Adding multiple friends or news stream subscriptions, each live journal user forms the so-called friend list. In other words, at the Author page we can read records kept by the author himself, while Friends page presents us records, to which the author has subscribed. Thus, a person may not express himself as an author of his own records, but be a very interesting reader, that is, a person who finds and forms very interesting news streams. Reading news list can be more useful than keeping one’s own records. Due to friend list a person gets an opportunity to arrange news stream from selected and proven communicants. There are various friends search engines in live journals. First of all, it is search by key words people use to specify their interests. Remember, key words are basic live journal search engine allowing people with similar interests to find each other and form groups.
Another way is searching in the list of those who have already been marked as friends of your fiends. “My friend’s friend is my friend”. The third way is when an experienced live journal author introduces a newcomer to a group of friends. To do that, special “Look who is here” messages are published; after that a new live journal member makes mutual friends selecting from reading friends. Sometimes a live journal-based group of people forms a community. Community membership provides an opportunity to publish messages in common news stream. At community pages there is Join Community command link accompanied with the following note: “You are free to leave the Community at any moment”. How to join the community in brief To discuss issues related to organizing network educational projects using socialware, and, in particular, to organize interregional projects using GPS receivers, there is a special live journal community, Virtual Intels http://www.livejournal.com/community/vintel/ To join the Community, it is necessary: • To register in the Live Journal. • To publish the first message in your diary. • To specify your interests according to which a member is found by colleagues. • To find friends using Vintel and GPS tags • To join Vintel Community • To publish a message in the community and a link to your photos at Flickr.com
Flickr.com service is designed for storage and further use of digital photos. A registered system user can locate his photos at a remote server. Free service enables downloading of 20 MB of photos per month. Each photo can be supplied with a title, brief description and key words for further search. Notes at the photographs can also be made. If a photo shows several objects (for example, several buildings), any object can be highlighted and supplied with description. A photograph can have a status of a private, family, group or public one. If the photograph is open to the public, it can be viewed by anybody. Besides, it can be found by key words specified by the user. Thus, searching by “bat” key word will provide a list of links to all photos of bats, to which their owners have attached a corresponding tag. The system allows simultaneous search by several key words. Another interesting capability is using photo collections or individual photos at your site or Live Journal pages. To obtain html code of an individual photo link you should only ask the system to show the photo in different sizes. Html code, which can be copied to a required page, will be shown under each photo. This transparent and useful service extends its capabilities. The service allows all users to exchange photos, share photos and photo tags. A person can not keep any negotiations or social contacts within the service and still benefit from the service as such. Attaching tags to the photos brings immediate advantages, as tags make easier searching for photos. In future a user gradually discovers new capabilities and gains additional benefits from integrating photographs in common communities’ pools. After you have linked a tag to the object, you can immediately see what other photographs have been labeled with the same key words by other people. You can adjust your key words to the most commonly used, or, on the contrary, to influence the group norm of key words. Such feedback results in user communication by means of metadata. Flickr supports user communication capabilities, enabling friendly relations between users. However, these relations do not
influence considerably general situation or tag map used by entire community. Flickr service enables to obtain a map of multiple key words used by people classifying their photographs. At that only key words that occur often enough are shown at the screen. Flickr users can form groups by interests and fill group photograph pool. Within the framework of teacher network community activities supported by Intel® Teach for the Future Program in 2005, Flickr.com server presents a gathered collection of digital photos of Russian cities: Saint-Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Saratov, Irkutsk, Novosibirsk, Ekaterinburg, Pskov, Voronezh. The collection is extended by both teachers and students. When adding a new photo, project members also add photo description and key words, i.e. tags, by which the photo can be found further. By the end of November number of photos almost reaches 600. If precise GPS coordinates of the place shown at the photo are known, they are also added as tags. Using such tags and GeoBloggers network service enables to combine stories and photographs included in collection by project members with Google digital map service (maps.google.com), and thus, to obtain an image of the place, where the photo has been taken, at Google map. Every digital photo is assigned not only temporary, but also a spatial value. Users that have labeled their photos with geotagged labels (geo:lat=coordinate, geo:long=coordinate) are provided by the service with geobloggers map, at which these photographs are located. In a simplified form used to record data as tags in Flickr system coordinates are presented as geo:lat=56.1939 and geo:long=43.5922. How to show your city to Community in brief To implement inter-regional projects using GPS receivers, there is a special Wandering Intels Community (GPSI) at Flickr server. To join the community activities, it is necessary: • To register at Flickr.com • To download digital photographs of your city (not bigger than 1200 x 900) • To tag photos using key words: Russia, 2005, vintel, GPS, city
To add photo description. To add clarifying notes to separate parts of photographs. To add photo coordinates obtained using GPS navigator To join GPSI Community To add your photos in community pool. To add your comments to pool photographs taken in other Russian cities Unfortunately, Flickr service supports user communication only in English. To help educational community members get registered and use service capabilities, special WikiWiki page contains detailed Flickr information (htp://wiki.saratov.fio.ru/wiki/)
• • • • • •
Future of knowledge management is neither searching for information, nor digital object storage management: all this is a science of dead information. The future is in how we tell stories to each other, in the way we build new knowledge from these stories, and reconstruct ourselves through these actions. This is active, powerful, and alive future of the Wiki Way (WikiWay) Sunir Shah, September 30, 2005 Wikipedia eats Google http://www.socialtext.com/weblog/050930wpvsgoogle.html WikiWiki (wiki) is a collection of interconnected records. Initially, technology developer Ward Cunningham called the application the fast hypertext interaction environment. Then WikiWiki term (means “very fast” in Hawaiian) became to be used. When using WikiWiki a person may not pay attention to using HyperText markup language instructions. A text of any collection page is interpreted by the program as a hypertext. In WikiWiki a radical model of collective hypertext is implemented, when every network community member is provided an opportunity to create and edit any record. There are obvious advantages of using WikiWiki technologies to organize joint activities. A user deals only with a usual hypertext on a page containing Edit Page button. To edit the page, a usual browser is enough, with little knowledge of HyperText markup language needed. An important WikiWiki feature is that any of community members can participate in editing any record. This feature makes WikiWiki the most powerful tool of collective hypertext creation, an up-to-date electronic blackboard, at which the whole group can write. An advantage of such electronic blackboard as compared to usual school one is that all utterances written at electronic blackboard are saved. If any record is replaced by a new one, it is “stuck” at the blackboard over an old record. At that, all previous records are saved.
On the one hand, it allows to track every record history in WikiWiki database. On the other hand, it guarantees data safety and certain security of joint activity field from erroneous or purposefully destructive actions. WikiWiki pages are interconnected using the simplest addressing system. Such simplicity requires definite rules. To support such a capability, unambiguous template patterns are needed; a program agent can be taught to use such patterns. Various WikiWiki clones can be arranged in different ways and can use different rules, but the key question is always searching for templates. For example, classical WikiWiki uses the following expression as a template: "[A-Z][a-z0-9]+([A-Z][a-z0-9]+)+" When translating from regular-expression language it means: “mandatory Latin letter in the uppercase followed by a mandatory letter in the lowercase or a numeral and any number of such letters and numerals”. Italicized combination of characters in brackets in the above sentence can be repeated by any number of times. In human language the rule is not very euphonic, but quite clear to the program. For example, in first WikiWikis such words as WikiWiki, FireFox or SourceForge were correct WikiWords, while MSOffice was a wrong one. Users can create new WikiWords. At that, no error messages will be returned. The program will just offer you to explain new WikiWord meaning. To refer to an existing or new concept, you should just use in the text a WikiWord recorded according to the given rule. As a rule, up-to-date WikiWiki programs understand Russian and can be used to talk in Russian WikiWords. Within Swiki framework, to define a template it is necessary to use asterisk symbol; everything restricted by asterisk symbol from two sides is considered to be *WikiWords*. Nowadays the most popular Wiki engine version, on which Wikipedia open encyclopedia is based, uses square brackets as template delimiters. Everything taken in double square brackets is considered by the program agent as [[WikiWords]]. Using special signs to create and highlight hypertext links makes link creation even easier and makes it optional to use
WikiWords. Using such rules of the game, any character strings taken in asterisks or square brackets can be WikiWords. WikiWiki was created as a collective information assistant to help easily interconnect database fragments or pages. In addition to personal advantages of fast document creation there are also additional collaboration advantages for document editing with other network users. At that, a capability of individual activities, that of creating a hypertext letter just for your own self remains available. Special WikiWiki in brief To organize inter-regional projects using GPS receivers, special WikiWiki has been created. To join the community activities, it is necessary: • To register. It helps track your pages. • To attend best practice pages and become familiar with WikiWiki style • To add your name and a link to your city • To discuss [[Virtual Excursion]] article • To extend [[Wiki Page]] text about your city with new concepts, places, photographs
City streets learning projects in Intel® Teach for the Future Program
In September – December of 2005, geotagging city games using GPS receivers were held in several Russian cities. Discussion of the games was conducted in Live Journal within the framework of network community. Virtual tours are prepared and presented using Flickr and WikiWiki services. Every team’s activities resulted in virtual city tour. Schoolchildren write an informal story of the place they live in. The story is illustrated by digital photos downloaded to Flickr server. Players learn both how to use GPS receivers and work with network technologies: download photographs, use key words, “make friends” with other teams, create WikiWiki pages, locate digital photos on these pages, bind pages. Activities related to virtual tour do not come to an end after s group presents its work. Game organizers and guests from other cities single out hypertext presentation keywords that evoke their special interest. After that teams must create articles revealing names of specified objects. As a result of community activities, digital map of Russian cities is gradually formed, where Intel® Teach for the Future Program has conducted and still conducts its city games using GPS receivers. Besides, due to efforts of geotagging game participants, a collective learning city encyclopedia is gradually formed. In the course of joint activities, community members gather geographical coordinates of locations, take digital photographs in these locations, learn additional information of the places, and sometimes transform it in question answer form. Besides gathering information, a learning project must include a story that would accumulate all the diversity of gathered materials presenting them in a narration form. This form is necessary as people usually don’t like reading paper or electronic dictionaries and encyclopedias. People like listening and reading to stories. Selecting a story that would consolidate community member activities in various Russian cities we based our choice on successful experience of creating Carmen SanDiego TV-show and a number of
learning games. To create a game that would attract schoolchildren, Carmen SanDiego authors suggested using a story of a private detective. A detective was a woman in a coat and read felt hat, with an exotic easy-to-remember name that was chasing criminals all over the world in the meantime solving geography-related tasks. For our story we used a character of traveling frog that travels from one city to another (see Appendix 2). In each city the frog executes a special secret mission that game participants should discover by visiting and examining points the frog had visited. To increase believability of the story about traveling frogs, a special Live Journal blog has been created; the blog stories are published by a group of authors on behalf of a frog: www.livejournal.com/users/frog_agentcy/ As any Live Journal, the frog’s diary contains information of its author: its brief biography and list of interests. Traveling frog biography: It is plausible, but not interesting. You can contradict me that reality is not obliged to be interesting. And I will tell you that reality may not, but it does not concern hypotheses. Borkhes. Death and Boussole I am a traveling frog. I travel over cities and execute secret missions there. I gather fairy-tales, steal brilliants, restore monasteries, rename streets, extend reality, deschool society, create communities, teach students, deep parallel, multiple entities, count stars. Frog’s list of interests: augmentation, carmen sandiego, computer games, cooking, deep parallel, deshooling, ecology, education, flickr, flocks, frogs, geography, geotagging, gps, hypertext, Illich, Intel, Italy, monarchy, money, out-door education, religion, revolution, Russia, schooling, secret mission, traveling, turtle, ubiquity, wikiwiki, Bach, Borkhes, Gorky, Lenin, Pavich, Sverdlov, Death and Boussole, Trio from Belville, Khazar dictionary, absinth, Charlie angels, brilliants, railway stations, borders, crane, green tea, greens, snakes, games, coffee, cooking, frogs, mission, mobile systems, teaching, memorials, cakes, traveling, revolution, connection, fairy-tales, France, church, turtles, chess.
Besides biography and interests the blog contains frog history written by a casual observer. Frog’s history There was a frog. Better to say, there were several frogs. And they were fine. A warm bog, slime, yellow lily pads. But one summer day everything has changed. There came a man in big gumboots and with a net. He has caught frogs – took them out of their natural habitat. Moreover. With the help of spells and technical means he turned them into beautiful girls. Maybe in Vasilisas the Beautiful, or in Charlie Angels. He hung yellow GPS stations on their chests, and made them run on errands for him. Travel to various cities and execute different secret missions. To clean the pond, or to take pictures of walls and fences, or to gather fairy-tales and recipes. Frogs feel cold and bad, but still travel to cities to execute their missions. This slavery will last till spring. And the worst of all is that they can’t complain to anybody and tell of their hard life. The only thing they can do it to leave records in this frog’s blog. Only on Live Journal pages can they write of the missions that have already been completed. Creating a virtual character that integrates events and objects in various cities allows to transfer activities of students using GPS navigators to a new level. Now instead of solving tasks in separate points that are not connected to each other they have to find and decipher a message contained in the city geographical context. Experience of using new socialware allows to outline expected development trends for network projects in the nearest future: • Number of categories of digital objects that are exchanged by network activity participants is gradually increasing. • Organizer of joint network project ever oftener plays the role of school adviser that observes children group behavior, and not a marshaller that controls everybody’s actions. • Learning projects are ever oftener leave school environments and appeal to open knowledge exchange communities.
Adoption of new tools does not only give us an opportunity to solve new tasks. New tools gradually modify our world outlook, allow us to see the world from a new point of view. This new model of network interaction can be used in teaching practice for teachers, students, and schoolchildren to assimilate important ideas of decentralization and environmental strategies of joint activities. In new environment an organizer of joint network projects ever oftener plays the role of school adviser that observes children group behavior, and not an officer who controls everybody’s actions. We have introduced network adviser term to emphasize gregarious character of modern network communities. Such adviser, first of all, extends students’ field of vision, helps them trace each others’ activity lines. The further students can see, the more they know of actions of other group members, the clearer they understand directions, in which other participants move, and the sooner overall direction is formed. School adviser must see all group members. He must tell the group of what he sees. To do this, a teacher as an adviser can use direct communication forms, indirect communication forms inside social services, and special services that allow to see connection between pages, key words and photos. If an adviser prefers using direct communication forms, he can address community members directly telling them (in direct mail list) what he observes at a given stage of community development. If an adviser prefers using indirect communication forms inside social services, he will have to perform following actions depending on a community type: • To read all Live Journal records, find new topics in comments, consolidate and interconnect various topics, annotate activities of separate students in his community activity reviews. • To look through and edit all exiting WikiWiki pages. To find common topics at pages and at a link level to show students who is near them, where their partners move, and what interaction with them is possible.
In Flickr service – to look though all published photos, their descriptions and key words. To bind photographs and records using links, add key words and comments.
We suppose, experience of participation in new network forms that teachers gain inside the network community will extend their ideas of capabilities of project network activities and will be used in future when organizing network projects for teachers, students and schoolchildren. A new educational project ‘It is Time to Come Back to Home’, supported by Intel and TransTeleCom started February, 2nd 2006 will help teachers and students to create their own wikipedia pages. These entries will describe the events, people and places of ‘education interest’. Visit www.letopisi.ru web-site and share your stories to the broad wiki-community.
Network Resources Links:
Learning materials: http://pat.iatp.ru – learning materials for creation and development of network communities GPS Russian site of geocaching http://www.geocaching.ru Maps + photographs - http://www.geobloggers.com Google maps – http://maps.google.com Live Journal Vintel Community - http://www.livejournal.com/community/vintel/ Flickr.com http://www.flickr.com http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/vintel/ - vintel tag GPSI Community- http://www.flickr.com/groups/gpsi/ WikiWiki Wikipedia - http://www.wikipedia.org Wikipedia in Russian - http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki Learning WikiWiki http://pat.iatp.ru/wiki.pl Vintel Project WikiWiki http://wiki.saratov.fio.ru/wiki Intel® Teach for the Future Program - www.iteach.ru Institute for Development of Educational Technologies –www.irot.ru
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