An Exploration into Future Learning EnvironmentsJOTWork byCharles Law & Edward Yen & Krupali RaiyaniHong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design &Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Intitute
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The following summarizes a four month This project was completed through theresearch and design project targeted towards MDes Interaction Design program at Hongcollaboration, learning, and technology use Kong Polytechnic University School of Designin educational environments for young kids with the support and sponsorship from thestudying in Hong Kong Primary schools. The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technologyfocus of the project was to investigate how Research Institute Company Limited.kids learned, played, and communicatedwith each other in order to imagine andpropose a conceptual design solutioninvolving ‘Dynamic Composable Computing’technologies.
DESIGN TEAM Charles Law Charles is from Vancouver, Canada and attended Simon Fraser University for his undergraduate studies in Interaction Design. Before moving to Hong Kong to study at the Polytechnic University School of Design, he helped global brands such as Nike and Visa captivate their customers in new and meaningful ways. Charles believes that interaction design is a process involving deep understanding of social and cultural contexts in order to stitch together complex disconnections with delightful outcomes. Edward Yen Edward is from Taiwan, experienced living in Shanghai for three years and later attended Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics for his undergraduate studies in Industrial Design. Due to his interest in user-experience studies and system design, he moved to Hong Kong to study Interaction Design at the Hong Kong Polytechinic University. Edward believes that the study of human behavior and application of cultural studies and social sciences to design can create a better life. Krupali Raiyani Krupali grew up in Bombay, India, where she graduated in mass media studies and explored advertising and photography while discovering her passion for design. In her advertising avatar she’s put together integrated campaigns and worked on brand strategy, before channeling her skills to interaction design. Her work at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University involves solving real world problems by designing meaningful experiences. She is a keen observer of human behavior and believes that interaction design is about designing experiences that are sympathetic to human nature and context.
PARTNERSHong Kong Polytechnic University School of DesignThe School of Design is at the forefront of applying Asian innovationto global opportunities. It is committed to sustain excellence indesign education, practice, consulting and research; to harnessthe legacy and dynamism of Asian cultures in creating solutions forhuman needs; and to create strategic models for products, brands,and systems in local and global markets. The school has over 1200students and is the only institution offering design education at thehigher level in Hong Kong.Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research InstituteASTRI was founded by the Government of Hong Kong SAR in2000 with a mission of enhancing Hong Kong’s competitivenessin technology-based industries through applied research. InApril 2006, ASTRI was designated the Hong Kong Researchand Development Centre for Information and CommunicationsTechnologies by the Innovative and Technology Commission withspecial goals to perform leading-edge R&D for technology transferto industry, develop much needed technical human resources andact as a focal point bringing together industry and university R&Dassets.Fung Kai No.1 Primary SchoolFung Kai No.1 Primary School was founded in 1932 and is locatedin the Sheung Shui district in Hong Kong. It comprises of over sixhundred students from primary one to primary six.
PROCESS Introduction Discovery Secondary Research Prototype Iteration Participatory Design Workshop Camera Journal Testing Jot Class Observation Student Workshops Prototyping Primary Research Synthesis Initial Concepts
Introduction 12 Brief 14 What is Dynamic Composable Computing?Discovery 18 Secondary Research Synthesis 24 Primary Research Outline 26 Participatory Design Workshop 36 Camera Journal 38 Class Observation 40 Student Workshops 43 Insights 44 Future of Education 46 Experience GuidelinesInitial Concepts 60 Immersive Environment Room 64 Connected PenJot 61 Problem Statement 62 Introducing Jot 68 Eco-System 70 Values 72 Why the Pen Form? 74 Scenario 76 Prototyping 88 Reflections
12 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot BRIEF Explore the use of ‘Dynamic Composable Computing’ technology solutions within the context of local Hong Kong schools and collaborative learning. To approach the project as “researching as designing” and apply user-centric principles and methodologies during the design process. The outcome is to propose a concept demonstrating a clear thoughtfulness of research and synthesis to enhance interactivity and collaboration in and outside classrooms.
14 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot WHAT IS DYNAMIC COMPOSABLE COMPUTING? ‘Dynamic Composable Computing’ (DCC) Three emerging technology pillars that will is the impromptu assembly of a logical support Dynamic Composable Computing: computer from wireless components that • High-bandwidth wireless are nearby - enabled by wireless links and communication automatically assembling networks. • Effective processing • Platform sensing
Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot 15It allows us to re-thinkhow people interact withthe environment and oneanother.DCC allows users to easily and seamlessly extend the capabilities of their mobile deviceextend the capabilities of their mobile device with the nearby resources in their environment,with the nearby resources in their environment, and further allow its resources to augmentand further allow its resources to augment other devices in the locality.other devices in the New technologies willenable electronic devices to seamlesslyconnect to one another and affords many newopportunities and possibilities for people to
18 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot CURRENT HONG KONG CLASSROOMS The Hong Kong education system has a of Hong kong found that “70 percent of similar system to that of the United Kingdom, highschool students and about 50 percent and can be said to be extremely competitive of primary students had hired private tutors” by global standards. However, as more and numbers have increased since then (NG, research is being done in the areas of n.d). At various levels of schooling, major education reform and child learning, there examinations determine the opening up or are new criticisms over certain aspects of the closing off of certain options for the student’s schooling system. In particular, the major next level of schooling. In Hong Kong, local critiques of the system include: students take territory-wide examinations at Primary 5 and Primary 6, Form 5 and Form Memorization as a means to evaluate 7, to determine placement in upper levels of education. Depending on the results of these Schools in Hong Kong lay great emphasis examinations students are allocated schools on performance in examinations and that are separated into three “Bands”, with frequent tests. More importance is given to Band 1 being the best schools (“Hong Kong’s memorization and evaluation than learning Education System”, (n.d). As a result of this itself. As Dean of Studies at the prestigious examination culture, the approach towards Diocesan Boy’s School, P. L. Lau, argues acquiring knowledge is pivoted around “ Hong Kong students have been ‘spoon memorization and not understanding. fed’ [to the point that] they don’t know how to really interact within the society” Teacher centered learning (Ye, n.d). In order to cope with the stress and demands of competitive exams, most To branch away from rote memorization, Hong students attend private coaching after school Kong educators need to go beyond traditional hours. A 2005 survey by the University teacher-centred approaches in the classroom.
Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot 19In many Hong Kong classrooms, often the Limited task based activitiesteacher teaches and student listens. Thereis a lack of group engagement due to the Once of the methods in creating a studentold thinking of the teacher as task-maker centered classroom environment is throughwith students as their subordinates. For implementing task-based learning. Originallyeducation reformers, “...there is a dire need developed by N Prabhu in Bangladore, as ato focus on individual students’ needs and means to learn language, task-based learningself-expression” (Traditional Education, n.d.) is based “on the belief that students may learn more effectively when their minds are focusedHong Kong has been actively promoting a on the task, rather than on the language theystudent-centred approach since the 1980s are using” (“What is ask-base learning”, n.d)but evidence show that is “mere rhetoric andhas not been successfully applied” (Yeung, However, as a result of using testing as the2009). Teachers have expressed frustration main means to evaluate children, there is aover the the lack of substantive support from lack of task based activities in Hong Kongthe Hong Kong government to implement curriculum education. This has been achanges in the system (Yeung, 2009). “The recognized problem for over a decade, as theclass size was too big, manpower and Hong Kong Development Council has itselfresources were too limited, teacher training written that “...learning is more effective whenwas so inadequate. All these constraints learners take an active role in the learningdiscourage teachers to strive for more process” (Hong Kong’s Education System,ambitious development of the pedagogy” n.d.), however there is little evidence to reveal(Yeung, 2009). the required systematic and educational content changes required to apply such a transformation.
20 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot UNDERSTANDING HOW CHILDREN LEARN According to Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, children ages seven to eleven are in what is known as the “Concrete Operational Stage.” Children are beginning to understand explicit and concrete concepts, but still struggle with abstract and hypothetical ones. “The term concrete does not mean children must see or touch actual objects as they work through a problem, but implies that the problems they deal with at this stage involve objects that are identifiable and directly perceived or imagined.” As a result children learn best from and about things that they can understand firsthand, through trial and error, and are constantly sorting objects based on their properties and relationships. At this stage, children also learn and remember better when more of their senses are being triggered, seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and tasting. When considering how children learn and learn how to think critically, educators should also consider the domains outlined in Bloom’s taxonomy. Bloom outlines six domains or levels of intellectual behavior in learning: Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis and Evaluation. Knowledge, the lowest level in Bloom’s Taxonomy, is defined as remembering previously learned material. It is associated with skills such as, observation and memorization. At the top level of Bloom’s taxonomy is the Evaluation Domain. Evaluation is concerned with the ability to judge the value of a material for a given purpose. Learning at this level is highest in cognitive hierarchy since it incorporates all the skills involved in previous levels (Bellis, n.d).
Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot 23TOPICS OF INTERESTAfter an initial secondary researchphase, we decided to focus on threekey areas to begin exploring and keeptrack of through primary research: Learning through play Multi-sensory learning Group dynamics
24 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot PRIMARY RESEARCH OUTLINE Research Objective To gain an understanding as to how Hong Kong children live, learn, and interact with one another and their environments. We hope to understand our topics of interest from the perspective of primary school students, teachers, and parents. Primary Target Users Kids aged seven to twelve (Primary School) • Struggling to make sense of abstract concepts • Learn through seeing and doing. • Learn through trial and error. Secondary Users Primary school teachers and parents
Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot 25SOME EARLY RESEARCH INQUIRIESKids learning and teaching each other Teachers and School Environment• How do kids learn? • What is the teacher student relationship• What are kids taught in school? like?• Who do kids learn with? • What are the responsibilities of a teacher?• How do kids learn through play? • What are the teaching tools used in a• How do kids learn through teaching other? classroom?• How are kids encouraged to group learn? • How does a teacher support students at• How does multi-sensory learning work in an individual level? the classroom? • Is there any learning outside the class? How? • What are the teacher’s goals andKids Interests priorities?• What kinds of games do kids like to play • What is the school environment like? now? • How do students spend their time in• What kinds activities and interests do kids school? like to do outside of school? • How involved are parents with the school?• How do kids like to interact with one another?• What kind of things do kids like to do? At Sharing school and out. • How and what do kids share?• How do kids behave in presence and • Sharing habits? absence of guiding adults?• What influences their interests? Technology Use • Technology habits.Kids outside of school • Internet habits.• What do kids do outside of school? • Online interactions.• How do they spend their time with family and friends? Media• What do kids learn outside of things they • Media consumption habits learn at school? • Media creation habits • Adaptability to new media • Education through media?
26 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot PARTICIPATORY DESIGN WORKSHOP What Participants To engage four primary school kids with 4 kids total. International Students. a series of activities, in order to begin an 3 kids aged 10 in primary 3. 1 kid aged 7 in understanding of our topics of study in a primary 1. three hour participatory design workshop. We designed four activities that tested our initial assumptions about our users and their environments, to express themselves without inhibition about our topics of interest, and hoped to inspire creativity and imagination through sketching, drawing, and brainstorming.
Participatory Design WorkshopActivities Planned Spin the Bottle Day in the Life Card Sorting Group dynamics
28 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot PARTICIPATORY DESIGN WORKSHOP Activity 1 Spin the Bottle What Why An ice breaking game to get to know the Kids get nervous when they meet strangers participants better while setting the mood of and especially adults. Making them feel comfort among the participants. relaxed and making friends with them is important in establishing trust and being Questions were framed with an element of fun able to participate in their natural habitat and and prepared on cards that players took turns activities. to pick and answer. Our team participated along with the informants in order to build an atmosphere of ease and trust through the course of the rest of the workshop.
ResultsKids did not feel that they are having aninterview but rather like they were playing agame. They were very to answer questionsand felt comfortable in conversing with ourresearch team. We found this to be a greatmethod to ask formal questions to kids inan informal way. In fact, our participantsdid not want to stop playing but due to timeconstraints we had to move onto the nextactivity. This game allowed the researchteam and participants to become familiarwith each other and subsequently allowedboth sides to converse and communicateinformally and easily, which helped uswhen completing further activities. Asidefrom gaining information based on the kidsanswers to the questions in this activity,we started realizing the power of gamemechanics, and how to engage throughideas involving play.
30 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot PARTICIPATORY DESIGN WORKSHOP Activity 2 Day in the Life Card Sorting What Why An exercise to map the activities and feelings To identify and prioritize elements to focus of a typical day of our target user. Our on and further address. After our team’s participants were asked to arrange a series of journey framework brainstorming exercise we cards representing objects, actions, places, realized that a better grasp of the everyday people, and interactions involving their daily life a child’s school day was required. Through routine. Pre-written and blank cards with pens this activity, we wanted to compare our were provided to allow flexibility in sorting and assumptions to the results of our participants communicating their expressions. card sorting. Their organization and actions will reveal expectations and priorities about our interested topics of study.
ResultsThis was one of the most fruitful activitiesduring the workshop. While the activityyielded a rather generic glance at theactivities of our participants daily lives,through the execution of this method theresearch team was able to communicate,interact, and consider the behaviour of ourparticipants and how they worked togetheras a team to accomplish this task. Throughthis activity we were able to delve deeperinto the lives of the kids and their feelings byasking them questions about what and whythey were creating cards for and why theywere moving them around. They revealeddetail about their past experiences inclasses, how they viewed certain activities,and provided intuitions and answerstoward our topics of study. One surprisingobservation from this activity was how ourparticipants loved to draw rather than writeon our cards in order to express themselves.As well, the kids originally thought we weregiving them origami to play with, and startedto fold our cards in unexpected ways. Thisaffirmed our prior readings regarding how kids will interact with objects in unexpectedways and it is important to design for kidsina way that they can explore. We wereencouraged by how comfortable kids werewith drawing and writing, and by how muchthey enjoyed these actions. Through thisactivity, we not only learned about the dailylife of our participants, but also how theyacted, expressed, and communicated withtheir friends. These observations during thisactivity were important because it helpedthe design research team begin to becomeimmersed in the culture of our target users.
32 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot PARTICIPATORY DESIGN WORKSHOP Activity 3 Performance Skit What Why To act out and involve our participants in a To illustrate our ideas and concepts to kids future classroom role playing scenario and in a tangible way. By enacting the activities, obtain feedback and additional ideas. The within a real or imagined context, we can design team put on a performance set in a trigger responses to the scenario that future classroom and demonstrated early otherwise may not be provoked if simply immersive learning concepts through real imagined through words. The design team lessons. For example, tablet sized cardboard hoped to gain insight into the scenarios as cutouts were handed to the ‘students’ well as inspiration about new ideas from the and were demonstrated in future learning participants. It was vital to demonstrate ideas scenarios. Participants were encouraged to kids through an experience in order to to follow along and voice their opinions correctly communicate our intentions and to and ideas during the skits. Other skits gauge their reactions. involved gesture based interactions that controlled the environment and various new device based ideas. As we explained and acted out different scenarios the kids were asked to imagine what they would do with the demonstrated magical objects and environments.
ResultsIt was important to properly communicateour ideas to the kids before they canproperly inspire us, so this method was veryuseful to in creating an environment to focustheir creativity and new ideas. During ourskits, we had some instances where we didnot have a working or fake prototype yet,and hence asked kids to imagine objectsworking in the heads. This turned out tobe less effective because kids were unableto imagine scenarios if they didn’t believethat what they were holding or seeingwas real, which was both surprising anddisappointing. They dismissed instancesthat were imaginative, and hence were takenout of the scenario. However, we learnedthat it was only important if the participantbelieved that their experience was real, evenif it wasn’t, so instances where we “faked”scenarios worked well and created a “wow”factor that inspired them. Through thismethod, one major insight was that kidswere very excited and comfortable with newtechnologies in the classroom and wereeager for interactivity in their lessons. Whenwe demonstrated an idea where drawingscould be wireless in the environment ontovarious walls, and successfully “faked it,”there was a moment of disbelief and thekids suddenly became very engaged indiscussions and idea sharing, opening upand giving their own thoughts on futureclassroom scenarios as well as their currentsituations.
34 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot PARTICIPATORY DESIGN WORKSHOP Key Observations • Schoolmates are the most immediate resource when kids need help. • Kids manipulate and touch objects in unexpected manners. • Strong interest in creating and consuming media. Noted Observations • When kids know there is reward, they will change their behavior. • Drawing is an excellent method for kids to express themselves. • Group dynamics changes how kids behave. • In group work, a leader will usually emerge. • Kids love to collect things. • Kids want straight answers to questions. • Kids are very comfortable with technology. • Parents like to get involve in kids learning.
36 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot CAMERA JOURNAL What Why Provide participants with a disposable camera To reveal points of view and patterns of and ask them to take photos of objects and behavior about personal feelings that are not places that are important to them. possible to obtain through design workshops or interviews. Participants 2 kids, aged 10, both in primary 4.
ResultsThere needs to be clear instructions andconstraints when giving assignments to kids.If this is not the case, the results may bedifficult to parse. In our case, we presented kids with loosely defined instructions that asked them to take photos of objects andplaces of importance. While we did getsome interesting photos, many of the kidsphotos were taken hours after receiving thecamera. More focused instructions, andmaking the desired results more game-like with objectives would probably havegarnered a better result. We had hopedfor diverse photos and a different look intothe life from the eyes of a child. While wedid get that, many of the photos takenwere around or inside their home. It mightalso help in the future if we provided a toolthat allowed kids to take photos and drawon them, such as a Polaroid camera. Thelimitations of the disposable camera, 24photos per camera, turned out to be a biggerconstraint than the research team originallyimagined. Still, through this activity it wasvery noticeable that kids love cameras andtaking photos. By using these disposablecameras as prizes during our participatorydesign workshop, it helped us focus ourparticipants during creative brainstormactivities.Noted Observations• Love to take photos.• Amusement from object collection.• Creates stories and meanings about the things and people around them.
38 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot CLASS OBSERVATION What Why Observed a general science class being Witnessing and capturing our target users taught in a computer aided room to primary habits, behaviors, and actions firsthand in four students. The design team sat in the their natural environment, in this case the class to obtain a first hand experience about classroom, is immensely valuable to ground how computers are used to teach students in the design team’s assumptions and thinking Hong Kong schools. towards the context. Participants Class with 30 kids, aged 10 and 2 teachers.
Results Noted ObservationsMany unanticipated issues and revelations • In many classes there is little chance towere procured from the design team through ask additional questions to the teacher.this activity. For one, we were surprised that Classes are short with many students, andschools were already using computers to the priority of the teacher is to get throughteach many general topics through digital the lesson.content software produced by various localcontent companies. Although rudimentary, • Kids were engaged with digital learningit emphasized that teachers and students content due to animations, media, sounds,were already comfortable with e-learning and interactivity.and that there is a growing need to makesure that the design, experience, and • There is a need for students to accessinteractions of such learnings be fruitful. digital lessons easily in class.Through observation and conversationswith the students, they were more engaged • Teacher needs to be able to access allwith the content due to the extra layer of computer screens in the class to focusmedia and interactivity that digital learning students as well as show them contententails. The class used Google Documents easily.in order to share programs, which everystudent had to log on to in the beginning of • Workbooks are written and drawn on forclass. This expressed a need, for a school- later reference.friendly content management system forteachers and subsequently for students • Many students do not enjoy lecture basedto access digital lessons in class easily. note-taking classes.During the lesson, there was a combinationof students working individually on their • Students first ask neighbours and friends computer and the teacher taking control for help in class before teachers.of the class to explain and show parts ofthe lesson. The teacher also had control of • Students don’t have time in class to askall the screen’s in the class, which for him teachers questions even if they wanted to.was important because he could focus the If kid’s miss something, they have to askstudents when he needed to as well as show their neighbour. When classes end, theycontent to everyone easily. In additional to have little time to go to the next class.digital lessons, students all had their ownworkbooks that they wrote and drew on. • Students treated computer equipmentWe realized that it was very important for roughly and playfully.students to write things down, to draw, andto have something physical to study outsideof the classroom.
40 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot STUDENT WORKSHOPS What Why Creative brainstorming and interview sessions To obtain the viewpoints of our target with small groups of students in similar age users and listen to their experiences and groups at school. Held informal discussions frustrations early on in the project. The goal about their thoughts and feelings about their of the workshop was to understand what current school experiences as well as discuss kids were going through at school and gain their ideas about new devices and tools to empathy for their struggles and real life help kids learn. Three different sessions, scenarios. filtered by age, thirty minutes each. Participants 3 sessions with 9 kids total. Session 1 : 3 Kids aged 8 in primary 2 Session 2 : 3 Kids aged 10 in primary 4 Session 3 : 3 kids aged 12 in primary 6
Results Noted ObservationsSpeaking with public school students • The actions, motivations, and values ofprovided the design team with a different kids in different grades are drasticallyoutlook than those generated from the different. In particular, as kids get olderprior participatory design workshop with they are more concerned with taking notesinternational students. In particular, the in class and memory based learning. Thislocal students seemed less technologically may be obvious, but it is an importantsophisticated than the international students. observation to grasp in the early designNot surprising, considering the income stage.level differences between the two groups,but it was unexpected that some students • In group learning, eventually someone willwere unfamiliar with even what an iPhone always take on the lead role.was. Comparing kids of different ages, wenoticed that there was a large discrepancy • The experiences and values of kidsbetween their attitudes, values, behaviors, differ sometimes drastically betweenand expectations about school and the international and public Hong Kongworld around them. With regards to school, schools.primary two and four students were lessconcerned about homework and taking • Many kids don’t ask their parents if theynotes in class, rather they were encouraged have homework questions, but many doby how to explore the environment and as well.objects around them. Speaking to primarysix students, who were aged twelve, they • During class, kids prefer to ask theirexpressed the importance of homework friends and peers before the teacher.and taking notes in class. Through thisobservation, we can infer that our ideas • Many students attend after school tutorialmust further target specific age groups classes.due to their diverse attitudes, needs,and interests. Regarding this research • Kids expressed interest in having bettermethodology, we realized a couple things ways to follow along with the material thatto rectify if given the chance. Firstly, the the teacher is going through in class.school seemed to have given us their bestand most responsible students. With the • Kids demand playful and interestingchance to execute this activity again, it experiences. Whatever the learningwould be recommended to specifically ask material is, if it is presented in afor different types of students, as to to gain a compelling fashion, kids will be interestedbetter understanding of student diversity and in it.interests. • Kids want instant feedback for everything.
Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot 43INSIGHTS FROM PRIMARY RESEARCH• Kids have a natural instinct • Kids pick up and learn how to to explore various uses for use something very quickly. different objects. • Kids will use an object• The idea of something in many different and physical for students to take unexpected ways. and bring around and modify, such as notebooks and • Learning through play is workbooks, is very important. powerful.• Group dynamics : somebody • Group learning is powerful. will assume the lead and others will follow. • Doing is learning.• Multi-sensory experiences • Kids enjoy being hands on result in more engaging and more than sitting, reading, memorable learning. and listening.• For many kids, their support • Kids like to participate in structure is with friends first, activities with each other. then parents, then teachers. • Kids form groups and there• For some kids, they cannot are different roles within the rely on their parents at home group. for homework help. • Kids are more engaged when• For some kids, they cannot learning with media. rely on the teachers for homework help. • Many kids love to collect objects.
44 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot FUTURE OF EDUCATION Steps towards education reform are creating frameworks that enable students to acquire critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication skills. An education solution that is designed with these values in mind should provide tools that encourage and inspire self initiated learning, task based activities, multi- disciplinary content and peer support. We believe the future of education is leaning towards allowing ‘immersive learning’ aspects over ‘passive learning.’
Immersive Learning vs Passive Learning Group participation One way Multi-sensory Reading and listening Experience the content Memorizing Multi-dimensional Single dimensionEncourage experimentation Ridid structure
46 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot EXPERIENCE GUIDELINES Inspire and engage me to learn. Interest children to explore the world around them. Teach me. Don’t tell me. Act as a guide and enable children to learn naturally with others. Don’t treat me like a kid. Deliver compelling experiences that make kids feel good about themselves. Respond to my actions. Provide meaningful and instant feedback.
50 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot IMMERSIVE ENVIRONMENT ROOM What Why A specially designed room in schools To allow for tangible virtual multi-sensory equipped with dynamic composable interactive lessons to be experienced computing enabled objects and displays by students. By providing an interactive meant to teach specially designed lessons environment, we wish to encourage self and offer unique learning engagements for initiated exploration, group learning and primary school students. learning through play.
Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot 51Immersive Environment Room Scenario 1Undersea AdventurePre-scripted undersea adventure to learnabout the animals and plants that live there.The teacher acts as their guide as eachstudent receives a tablet like device and setsforth in a field-trip like experience. Clean the Ocean Students descend down the ocean and learn about pollution in the ocean and how it affects the life there. They are given the task of picking up garbage in the ocean. Nets appear on the screen of their devices and students go around the room finding and removing garbage from the ocean, saving the life there. Learning about Ocean Predators To learn about ocean predators, they have to work together as sea anemone or else be grabbed by an octopus and be forced to start from the beginning. Through this activity students gain collaboration and communication skills as well as knowledge about sea creatures. X-Ray the Ocean Once students successfully evade the octopus, they are given a gift on their devices and have the ability to ‘x-ray’ the ocean. From here, kids can go around the room and learn about the anatomy of various fish and sea-life with their own x-ray device. Lean about Ocean Life Students must work together to collect information about many objects in the ocean and find out their names and definitions.
52 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot Immersive Environment Room Scenario 2 Open Canvas The classroom is an ‘open canvas’ for students to pain, draw objects, and create their own stories by programming their own creations into the environment. Color Mixing Kids can learn about how colors mix together while painting through mixing and matching. Play and Paint Various dynamic composable computing devices can be used, such as soft objects to throw around to paint and effect surfaces in the environment. Animating Objects Kids can draw objects on their device, send them to the environment, and use simple gestures to create animations and a lively environment.
54 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot CONNECTED PEN What Why A dynamic composable computing enabled To rethink the way students connect to one device in the form of a pen that allows another, how interactive learning materials students to open up their personal learning are presented and experienced, and re- management system (LMS) on any enabled configure classroom dynamics in the school. surface at school in order to access and manipulate digital learning material and tools. The new LMS system will include dynamic access to learning materials, personal notes, and social content all accessible anywhere at school through the connected pen and at home through a web-based interface.
Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot 55Connected Pen ScenarioAs students enter into the classroom for alesson, they can sit anywhere and connect totheir learning management system throughtheir connected pen on any surface.Kids simply sign their name with their penon the surface and can summon their digitalobjects. This includes contextual interactiveclass content, community functionality withthe rest of the class, and private note takingapplications.During the class, the teacher has full controlover everybody’s digital spaces and mayeither provide learning content or limit certainfunctionality such as social networking andsending messages to others. As well, forany assignments during the class, immediatefeedback can be given to many.Desks and digital spaces may be connectedtogether to allow for easy group collaborationbetween students. For example, a large areacan be produced for many students whohave to work together to find and draw all the constellations in the sky.Outside of the classroom, students can alsoshare their work in common areas around theschool.
Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot 57SELECTING THE CONNECTEDPEN CONCEPTThe ‘Connected Pen’ concept was selected forfurther advancement due to the scalability ofthe idea, impact of intended interactions, andprototyping possibilities.The ‘Connected Pen’ allows us to explore howchildren can:• Naturally interact with new forms of interactive learning content.• Access digital learning materials in many new surfaces and environments.• Collaborate with others both physically and digitally.
Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot 61PROBLEM STATEMENTSupport a student centered, task basedmodel of learning. To provide studentswith the opportunity to learn with andfrom each other in order to gain criticalthinking skills.
62 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot INTRODUCING JOT Jot re-imagines how students, teachers, and digital content will interact with one another in future learning environments. It enables access to digital learning materials and tools on many surfaces at school with the Jot pen and focuses on both physical and digital collaboration. The Jot pen acts as the direct input tool for students to access dynamic class lessons, learning materials, and community content from classmates and teachers. Students may use their Jot pen on any Jot enabled surface at school, which are represented as regular objects for kids to interact with, such as classroom tables, collaborative Jot boards, and public environment pieces. We envision the Jot pen to be used during class lessons, collaborative learning sessions, personal learning explorations, and various sharing applications in the school. Outside the school, students may access Jot content through other Internet enabled devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and personal computers. Jot enables students to naturally and creatively interact with one another with the Jot pen through engaging digitally enhanced experiences.
64 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot Students at Fung Kai No.1 Primary School trying out a prototype of Jot for the first time. They are arranging virtual planets around to form the correct order together using the Jot pen and surface.
66 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot Primary two students at Fung Kai No.1 Primary School playing with a sample planet coloring application.
Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot 67 Sending the newly colored planet from the table to another surface.
68 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot JOT ECO-SYSTEM With Jot, the pen and objects in the environment. The purpose of the Jot eco-system is to enable a future learning in class infrastructure that supports accessible enable digital and p engaging digital content, social networking, collaboration in the and physical collaboration. off campus The students’ personal link to the learning access future learning management system is in the form of a pen, management system a tool that allows access to learning material content and tools and encourages creative exploration. Various anywhere surfaces in the school such as desks, tables, and boards serve as display surfaces through which the pen allows interaction with digital student content. with flms Jot Elements Users Primary school students. Jot Pen Dynamic composable computing enabled student & pen for each student to connect and digitally parent internet write on surfaces at school to access digital with flms devices learning content. Jot Enabled Surfaces Access digital learning content with Jot Pen around the school. Jot Learning Management System Cloud based content management system many that stores and allows access to learning through materials, tools, and community elements. flms Internet Devices in sch Enables access to Jot Learning Management encoura System outside of school without the Jot Pen in new le or Jot Enabled Surfaces.
Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot 69physical groupe classroom student with & Jot student & Jot many student through & Jot Jot teacher to many through Jot future jot learning student jot pen enabled management surfaces system student with public & Jothoolage sharing and interacting earning environments student & Jot many & Jot
70 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot JOT VALUES Engaging Content Accessibility Jot is a platform that allows Engaging content is only educators and content meaningful if it can be providers to rethink how to accessed anywhere and deliver learning material to everywhere. The Jot concept children. To captivate and extends digital learning capture a child’s imagination, content access outside the content creators must go classroom into other school beyond simply digitizing environments through digitally current learning materials enabled surfaces. At school, for screens. Lessons students only need a Jot Pen, should be designed to and outside, any Internet allow student participation, enabled device can connect peer collaboration, instant to their personal learning feedback, reward based management system. learning and high levels of engagement. Jot is both a system and interaction platform to support new and meaningful learning experiences.
Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot 71Enabling Collaboration Balance between Digital and PhysicalThe primary focus for thisproject was to focus on It is important not to restricthow technology can enable and push interactionsreal collaboration between towards screens andstudents to express their digital objects alone. Jot iscreativity, solve problems, designed to encourage realand learn with and from each world interactions betweenother. Jot emphasizes both people and in the tangibleon digital and physical real environment. At the sameworld collaborations. time, with Jot, students and teachers enjoy tools and content that are more enabling and enriching than the present day books and learning material. Jot balances the advantages of better feedback, control, access,and interactivity of the digital with the advantages of tangible and interpersonal interactions in the physical world.
72 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot WHY THE PEN FORM? The pencil and pen form has been a vital tool humans have used to communicate for centuries. It is a crucial instrument that aids not just writing, but also thinking and creative expression. Over time, with the advent of the personal computer and digital devices for many uses, we have replaced or supplemented the pen with keyboards and touchscreens. We believe that a keyboard or a screen based input and interaction system does not allow the same level of comfort and creative freedom as the pen does. We wish to propose a pen plus touch based input system that imitates the experience of using pen and paper. Finger based touch interactions are efficient for non-precision based actions such as moving and pushing digital objects. However, the pen permits both freedom and precision with regards to activities such as writing, sketching, drawing, and controlling digital objects. The freedom and instinctiveness of using a pen is an experience that is comfortable to humans.
74 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot SCENARIO Rumming is a grade 3 student at Fung Kai No.1 Primary school. On school days, she brings her Jot pen everywhere. It contains all her digital books, notebooks, schedules, everyting she needs. When she gets to class she can use any table as her Jot surface. All she needs to do is write her name on the table and then her class lesson, notebook, and school tools appear. During class, Rumming follows along on her desk as the teacher shows her various videos, photos, and interactive graphics. She likes how there is no need to write down everything the teacher says. Jot remembers and records what was talked about in class. Rumming has to find a partner to learn about the order of the planets by playing a game. Tom and her work together to solve the puzzle. After solving the puzzle, they both got a new clothing piece for their digital avatar, a spacesuit! Rumming is very excited and uses it right away. Next, she is working in a large group to find all a constellations. She helps to find Orion’s Belt and saves it to her pen. After class, Rumming excitedly goes to the school sharing wall to show off her new finding to her classmates. Back home, although Rumming cannot use her Jot pen, she can still access Jot content through her laptop to see all her school materials and notes. She enjoyes to help her classmates with any questions they might have and share what she did in class with her mom. View video online: http://bit.ly/iiaJLz
76 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot PROTOTYPING What How To prototype and test the Jot concept on To enable pen based interactions with ourselves, peers, kids, and teachers. digital elements on surfaces, we made use of available software to connect infrared pens to a surface. We were inspired by Johnny Lee’s low cost multi-point interactive whiteboard Wiimote program and eventually settled on a program called Smoothboard to track our infrared pen’s inputs. We projected interactive Adobe Flash created digital prototypes onto various surfaces to test and used both custom made and commercially produced IR pen’s as the direct manipulation input method. Computer Pico Projector Infra Red Sensor Wii Remote Infra Red Pen Projection Surface Table
86 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot SKETCH UI What How To prototype and test the Jot concept on We created our prototypes in Adobe Flash ourselves, peers, kids, and teachers. due to the interactive elements we needed to portray, such as a planets alignment game and painting planets with our input device, the IR pen.
88 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot REFLECTIONS Charles Law This project was a lot of fun for a variety of reasons. First, to have the freedom to dictate our own design process proved to be valuable and allowed us to really become immersed into the project. Taking the time to talk to both our users and stakeholders,, hold participatory design workshops, observe local school class lessons,, and then to later be able to test our early prototypes with kids and teachers in a school environment was enriching to take in. The time spent with our users, both primary school children and teachers, yielded a lot of thoughtful insights and really assisted our level of empathy and understanding during brainstorming and design sessions. While many insights seem obvious in hindsight, being there really allowed us to truly believe it. This project affirms to me the importance of designers being apart of first-hand research related activities because by being there when users ‘do it’ really makes a big difference. Through time spent with kids and classrooms, I also saw first hand how the current education system and platform is immensely flawed in Hong Kong, and a drastic change is needed. There is not nearly enough emphasis on task-based learning, and at the primary school children age, this is a travesty. Adding in new technology will not remedy this issue, there needs to be a fundamental philosophical shift towards education reform in how we teach kids in the classrooms, and assign them learning activities outside. As well, the teacher is more important than ever, and any technological proposals in the classroom have to assist them to better do their job. For them to work with kids in their education, rather than as the primary task-maker. The idea of Jot is to re-imagine how students, teachers, and digital content will physically interact with one another in a future learning environment. I think that we achieved some breakthroughs in interaction, especially with how kids could interact with one another, in groups, and with educational content in the classroom. A project like this requires many iterations and trials in order to progress from idea to reality, but I believe we have laid the initial groundwork and proved through our prototype that the physical manipulation of digital content in the classroom is highly engaging, and that there are many possibilities around how this content could be delivered and experienced.
Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot 89 Edward Yen “Design thinking is changing our culture, not only in its external manifestations but in its internal character.” “The Idea of Design”, Victor Margolin and Richard Buchanan I used to be an industrial designer designing products. Those products I designed are based on an actual problem. However for this project, we don’t know the situation of primary school education in Hong Kong, we don’t know is there any problem or not. We have to go to school to obsreve and hold workshops with kids, learning their life and to define the problem which is a breakthrough for me. Due to our target is primary students, we design workshops instead of formal interview to learn their life and how they learn both in school and off school. What we found interesting is during the workshop, how they express themselves and communicate with other student. It is because of us, designer, joining the research in person can learn their behaviors. Doing research in person helped us define the problem and more importantly created a passion to keep doing the project because we believed that our design could really help and improve what we experienced about their current situation. After coming up with the idea, we prototyped our concept and created some sample content to testing on kids and teachers. When we saw how they used the prototype and were delighted in doing so, we gained confidence for our design concept. As well, we were able to quickly incorporate their advice to improve our prototype quickly. Without a prototype, it is difficult to let users understand our design and obtain useful feedback. The Jot project lasted for four months, during which we went from defining the problem to the concept solution. I learned how to apply various design methodologies to apply to my next projects. Lastly, I appreciate working with two great partners, Charles Law and Krupali Raiyani. I learned a lot from them especially how to work as a team and their specialities.
90 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot REFLECTIONS Krupali Raiyani Jot has been one of the most fruitful projects that I have participated in. Creating something for a target group that we knew so little of, has taught me not just about technology for kids but more about the process of discovering relevance in design. This project has been process oriented, with the aim of understanding the needs and existing behaviour and letting the desired experience guide our design thinking. Our team has been fantastic to work with, each with our own strong approaches and opinions, proactively taking up roles individually and together. Our compatibility helped us arrive at a common vision which was crucial to making a strong concept. Jot developed from the recognition of the fact that kids learn from each other, and learn by doing. There is a need to support collaboration, participation and engagement in learning activity. The system in schools needs to shift from passive receiving of information to immersive learning that is student-centric. Jot supports these values by allowing access to engaging tools that support digital and physical collaboration, and encourage greater participation in discovering knowledge together while supporting individual development. Jot embodies these principles by allowing access of digital learning tools on physical objects in the school environment through the Jot pen. Designing for kids has brought forward new challenges. We discovered creative ways of arriving at insights, and learnt to modify our research to suit their lifestyle. The constraints of the project brief were taken as a challenge and were interpretated as facilitators of new behaviour. We broke down the technology of Dynamic Composable Computing into meaningful actions that it can support. We stepped back from requirements and understood the gaps in the education model and kid’s learning behaviours first, and then applied the values of the technology to the opportunity gaps. Once conceptualised, prototyping and testing the idea was important to us. We were able to communicate the bigger picture of the proposed solution effectively by demonstrating a working prototype. Seeing school children pick up the use of Jot effortlessly was the truly rewarding.
92 Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot SECONDARY RESEARCH REFERENCES Bellis, M. (n.d.). Benjamin Bloom - Critical Thinking and Critical Thinking Models.Inventors. Retrieved February 22, 2011, from http://inventors.about.com/library/ lessons/bl_benjamin_bloom.htm Bloom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved February 22, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloom Brock, M., & Walters, L. (1993). Teaching composition around the Pacific Rim: politics and pedagogy. Made in Hong Kong: An Imperialist Rhetoric and the Teaching of Composition (pp. 28-29). Clevedon: Multilingual Matter. Children’s Websites: Usability Issues in Designing for Kids (Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox). (n.d.). useit.com: Jakob Nielsen on Usability and Web Design. Retrieved February 22, 2011, from http://www.useit.com/alertbox/children.html Druin, A. (2009). Mobile technology for children: designing for interaction and learning. Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers/Elsevier. Hong Kong’s Education System. (n.d.). Study HK. Retrieved December 2, 2010, from studyinhongkong.edu.hk/eng/01hkesystem.jsp Lazaris, L. (n.d.). Designing Websites for Kids: Trends and Best Practices - Smashing Magazine. Smashing Magazine. Retrieved February 22, 2011, from http://www. smashingmagazine.com/2009/11/27/designing-websites-for-kids-trends-and-best-practices/ Life as a teacher. What is Task-Based Learning?. (n.d.).life as a teacher . Retrieved February 22, 2011, from http://teachingenglishzone.blogspot.com/2007/12/what-is-task-based-learning. html NG, Y. (n.d.). In Hong Kong, Cram School Teachers’ Image Rivals Pop Stars’ - NYTimes.com. The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. Retrieved February 22, 2011, from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/01/business/global/01iht-cramside.html Pong, W., & Wong, J. (2002). On the pedagogy of examinations in Hong Kong.Teaching and Teacher Education, 18(2), 139-149. Radio Johnny (2010, August 16). Debral Gelman on Designing Digital Experiences for Children. Podcast retrieved http://johnnyholland.org/2010/08/16/radio-johnny-debra-gelman-on- designing-digital-experiences-for-children/ TED Talks (2010, July). Sugata Mitra: The child-driven education. Podcast retrieved http:// www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_the_child_driven_education.html
Introduction Discovery Initial Concepts Jot 93Thomas, R. M. (1979).Comparing theories of child development . Belmont, Calif.: WadsworthPub. Co..Traditional education. (n.d.). Wikipedia. Retrieved May 18, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditional_educationYe, F. (n.d.). Hong Kong Education: All Change. HK Stories - JMSC - HKU. Retrieved February22, 2011, from http://www.hkstories.net/fall2010/?p=6805Yeung, S. (2009). Is student-centered pedagogy impossible in Hong Kong? The case of inquiryin classrooms. Asia Pacific Education Review,10(3), 377-386.
SPECIAL THANKSHong Kong Polytechnic University School of DesignProject SupervisorsDr.Xiangyan XinMichael LaiHong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research InstitutePrimary ContactTristen ZhouFung Kai No.1 Primary SchoolSchool StaffLiu Chi LeungWong Tak YinStudentsChan Ching HoSiu Lok HangWong Ka SuenChan Chun HoChu Tsz YanWong Lai KitLeung Chak YinChong Yee LamAnd to all who helped out, thank you!