The research context provided by the ‘Infinite Infants’ project explores the pedagogic opportunities provided by telematic/networked learning and teaching environments/architectures at reception level. These networked environments will be developed in collaboration with Creative Partnerships, Hyde Park Infants, Langley Community Infants and Woodford Infants School. The project has funding for Research Associateship to develop tools and systems that enhance the learning environment and extend the technological systems developed through the collaboration.
Infinite Infants (the original proposal):[Designing Telematic Play Spaces for Children]
Infinite Infants is a trans-disciplinary research project that will develop concepts of ‘play’, ‘creativity’, ‘imagination’, ‘communication’ and ‘self esteem’, and is informed by the theory and practice of digital art, telematics, architecture and virtuality; drawn together through the pedagogical context provided by the collaborating primary schools (Langley Infants, Woodford Infants and Hyde Park Infants, all based in Plymouth). Infinite Infants is a practice based research project exploring the potential for shared, sustainable, virtual environments for children (Foundation stage and Key Stage 1 (ages 4 – 7) and nursery aged children). The research is an enquiry into the potential for situated and collaborative learning via telematic narrative spaces, by exploiting the qualities that digital media affords, such as non-linearity, telepresence, interactive and dynamic environments. The Infinite Infants system will consist of the following functionality: Collaborative play and shared narrative space; Communication tools; Digital Media Creation; Content Management.
The principal research objectives for the Infinite Infants project are:
- To identify and expand user centred design methodologies and techniques.
- To identify suitable medium for mediated communication.
- To extract conceptual and inspirational models for virtual architectures.
- To determine suitable content management system for both teaching staff and early learners.
- To identify the pedagogical benefits afforded by telematic/networked environments/architecture. (f) To explore creative strategies for developing digital media assets and support for users.
The infinite Infants project utilises a trans-disciplinary approach to the research, design and development of telematic narrative space. The initial research and design philosophy employs a range of approaches from eliciting target users current practice and understanding, to the professional creation of arts and narratives, to inform the interface and structure of the system.
The project design process draws on interdisciplinary methodologies, including HCI, educational research and art and design practice. The project is informed by theories of social constructivism and experiential learning to underpin the pedagogical approach, whilst also utilising teacher’s craft knowledge. The research project includes a range of comprehensive methods to design, develop and evaluate the system, and the creative opportunities it facilitates, including: Practice based workshops, Expert Observation, Peer Evaluation, Interviews, Rapid prototyping (software and hardware).
The Project was funded by Creative Partnerships, Plymouth (now Real Ideas Organisation)
http://www.laboralciudaddelacultura.com/ La Laboral, Gijón/Xixón, Spain.