Designing Educational Futures with the Future Technology Workshop Method


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Presentation on the Future Technology Workshop method given at Educatioal Futures ESRC Seminar Series, Nottingham, 5 July 2010

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Designing Educational Futures with the Future Technology Workshop Method

  1. 1. Designing Educational Futures with the Future Technology Workshop method<br />Giasemi Vavoula (University of Leicester)<br />with Mike Sharples (University of Nottingham)<br />
  2. 2. Introduction<br /><ul><li>Future (educational) scenarios invariably feature references to new technologies / products / services
  3. 3. Types of new products (Meyers et al. 1989):
  4. 4. Incremental / continuous products: improvements, upgrades, line extensions
  5. 5. Discontinuous products: radically new products that involve dramatic leaps in terms of user familiarity and use
  6. 6. Both types of new products influence future educational scenarios
  7. 7. But discontinuous products likely to shape educational futures in the end</li></li></ul><li>New Product Development Process<br />Fuzzy Front End<br />New Product Development<br />Commercialisation<br />Market Research<br />Design<br />... and User Oriented Design:<br />Opportunity identification & analysis<br />Idea generation / screening<br />Concept development<br /> … can increase collaboration in development effort<br />… can have a positive effect on idea generation<br />… can result in a superior product or service<br />… can lead to products that are more readily adopted by users due to better appropriateness<br />Veryzer & de Mozota, 2005<br />
  8. 8. Requirements for method<br />Minimal participant training<br />Collaborative<br />Direct input to design<br />Cost-effective to run<br />Relates people and technology<br />Open-ended<br />Pragmatic<br />
  9. 9. Existing methods<br />
  10. 10. Future Technology Workshop (FTW)<br />The Future (evolution / adoption of technology)<br />The Present<br />The Future (discontinuity)<br />The Future (evolution / adoption of practice)<br />
  11. 11. FTW: the method<br />Aim: reach an informed understanding of how people might interact with technology in the future, by exploring the possibilities represented by all 4 boxes in the grid<br />Seven sessions with defined outcomes and defined tools for capturing data<br />Carried out typically as a half-day event<br />6-20 participants, familiar with the domain of interest but not generally technology experts<br />
  12. 12. FTW Session 1: Imagineering<br />
  13. 13. FTW Session 2: Modelling<br />
  14. 14. FTW Session 3: Role Play<br />
  15. 15. FTW Session 4: Retrofit<br />
  16. 16. FTW Session 5: Everyday<br />
  17. 17. FTW Session 6: Futurefit<br />
  18. 18. FTW Session 7: Requirements<br />
  19. 19. 2<br />start<br />1<br />Box 3<br />Session 4<br />Box 4<br />Sessions 1-3<br />3<br />5<br />Box 1<br />Session 5<br />4<br />Box 2<br />Session 6<br />6<br />Box 4<br />Session 7<br />4<br />Near Past<br />Present<br />Near Future<br />Far Future<br />7<br />end<br />FTW: sessions flow diagram<br />
  20. 20. How it works...<br />
  21. 21. FTW Application Example 1:‘Capturing and sharing visual events’<br />Children as Photographers project (Sharples et al., 2003)<br />Five workshops with children 10-13 / adults (Vavoula et al., 2002; 2003)<br />Exploring and focusing on concepts / designs<br />
  22. 22. FTW Application Example 1:‘Capturing and sharing visual events’<br /><ul><li>4 FTWs, 2 with children 10-13, and 2 with adults
  23. 23. Produced concepts:
  24. 24. Spy cameras: miniature cameras hidden on the body to capture everyday events or relay images to others
  25. 25. Robot cameras: camera attached to person / animal / object with images viewed at a distance
  26. 26. Requirements:
  27. 27. Ability to view the world through eyes of others (people/animals)
  28. 28. Ability to capture that view
  29. 29. Ability to intervene / control that view
  30. 30. Ability to share instantly
  31. 31. Ability to share all senses
  32. 32. Record of personal experience over lifetime
  33. 33. ‘Always on’
  34. 34. Fast enough to capture the moment instantly
  35. 35. Discreet / secret / unobtrusive technology
  36. 36. Durable / portable / reliable
  37. 37. Cheap</li></li></ul><li>FTW Application Example 1:‘Capturing and sharing visual events’<br /><ul><li>Prototype ‘Spycam’ (Vavoula et al. 2003)
  38. 38. Wireless mini colour camera mounted on sunglasses
  39. 39. Camera transmits colour composite video signal to portable computer (Panasonic Toughbook) with wirelessly connected handheld screen
  40. 40. Camera and view screen carried separately, each within 100 metres range from base station
  41. 41. Configurations / scenarios
  42. 42. Collaborative space exploration
  43. 43. Spy explorations
  44. 44. Map drawing
  45. 45. Etc.</li></li></ul><li>FTW Application Example 1:‘Capturing and sharing visual events’<br /><ul><li>‘Spycam’ trials with 32 children at holiday camp
  46. 46. Feedback
  47. 47. “It was just like, you didn’t have to worry about holding it or nothing it was just, always on you and easy to use, because if you wanted to take a photo just tell them, just push the button” (boy, age 13)
  48. 48. “I liked that you could see what they were seeing instead of ... just looking at them and trying to imagine what they could see” (girl, age 11)
  49. 49. Overall assessment
  50. 50. Mostly impressive were the ability to see what someone else sees in real time; to control where someone else goes; need to trust; choice when to take photograph
  51. 51. Children found FTW concepts enjoyable, fascinating new activities</li></li></ul><li>FTW Application Example 1:‘Capturing and sharing visual events’<br /><ul><li>Second iteration: FTW on ‘capturing visual events remotely, without being noticed’
  52. 52. Concept
  53. 53. Camera that can attach to variety of objects (sunglasses, wristwatches)
  54. 54. Prototype
  55. 55. ‘RoboCam’ where miniature camera is mounted on top of remote controlled model car; camera image received on computer monitor or small screen TV
  56. 56. Further testing scenarios
  57. 57. Blindfolded treasure hunt (SpyCam)
  58. 58. Collaborative mystery solving (RoboCam)</li></li></ul><li>FTW Application Example 1:‘Capturing and sharing visual events’<br /><ul><li>Activities with prototypes thoroughly enjoyed by children (potential end users)
  59. 59. Note: workshops took place between 2000-2002
  60. 60. No camera phones, no IM, no flickr, no Facebook...
  61. 61. Question: did that lead to an actual commercial product?
  62. 62. … errr….
  63. 63. But a similar toy concept did eventually reach the market...</li></li></ul><li>FTW Application Example 2:‘Train first-aid volunteers’<br /><ul><li>Context: EU IST Project MOBIlearn: mobile technologies for learning
  64. 64. Focus on general requirements rather than concept design
  65. 65. Participants: first-aid volunteers at UK OU
  66. 66. Concepts produced:
  67. 67. Diagnostic machine: kit that assesses person in need when applied and assists first-aid worker to report incident appropriately
  68. 68. FTW transcripts analysed to identify current and future tools and artifacts and their uses
  69. 69. Translated into system requirements; then into general requirements for MOBIlearn system (e.g. “incorporate ‘scanners’ for capturing and storing information”)</li></li></ul><li>FTW Application Example 3:‘informal science learning in mobile settings’<br /><ul><li>Context: Kaleidoscope NoE JEIRP ‘MELISSA’
  70. 70. Focus on envisioning the future of a research area (informal science learning)
  71. 71. Priming session summarising literature review of the area
  72. 72. Participants: researchers and external experts
  73. 73. Concepts produced:
  74. 74. Whisperers: agents sitting on user’s shoulder and whisper information about social context
  75. 75. Zoom and time travel: while moving in urban setting, person can zoom into a micro view to understand how it is constructed; or can travel back in time to view environment in the past
  76. 76. Requirements fed into force-field analysis to identify ‘helpers’ and ‘hinderers’
  77. 77. Concepts examined against learning theories to identify fit
  78. 78. Outcome: a well-informed vision of requirements for future informal science learning research</li></li></ul><li>FTW Application Example 4:‘student requirements for taught PG programmes’<br /><ul><li>Context: Masters in Museum Studies
  79. 79. Focus on improving the student experience
  80. 80. Participants: Masters students
  81. 81. Concepts produced:
  82. 82. Virtual programmable museum: tutor can bring to life past exhibitions; students can experiment with exhibition variables and conduct online visitor studies
  83. 83. Robo-visitors: robots sitting in museums awaiting remote user instructions to explore museum on their behalf
  84. 84. Requirements fed into student exercise to design a future learning experience for Museum Studies students
  85. 85. Outcome: analysis ongoing; expecting to input to School and College Academic Committees</li></li></ul><li>FTW Application Example 5:‘requirements for the Live!Museum’<br /><ul><li>Context: AHRC / BT Pilot Research Networkworking‘LIVE!Museum: visitor and institutional contexts for digital labelling and in-gallery connectivity’
  86. 86. Focus on developing research projects to explore the implications of live digital content and media on visitors and institutions
  87. 87. Participants: engineers, curators, digital heritage experts
  88. 88. Work in progress – but seems to be going well!</li></li></ul><li>FTW – Other applications<br />ReFLEx: requirements for tools for discovering learning materials and resources by semantic associations<br />Olney guides: outreach project, to teach and inspire about technology innovation and design<br />Beyond Mobile Learning CSCL workshop: tools for collaborative learning about media making<br />...<br />
  89. 89. What participants say...<br /><ul><li>Positive
  90. 90. “When people are relaxed they tend to think in a more free-form way. I enjoy the brainstorming that goes on, which often begins with fun and laughter, but which then begins to focus and home in on some really interesting ideas”
  91. 91. “the need to represent the imagined situation by means of a kind of ‘art work’ and a short play helped to make the imagination activity more concrete and more live. The fact that they play had to represent the situation imagined by another group stimulated me to pay more attention to other people’s visions than i would have done otherwise”
  92. 92. “The whole thing is very coherent – each stage leads to the next – and at the end it feels as though a cycle has been completed ... I think it makes good use of the expertise and skills of the group involved – so that the whole is more than the parts”
  93. 93. “it’s a very useful method for thinking ‘outside the box’ but also grounds that thinking back in reality, theory, etc.”
  94. 94. Negative
  95. 95. “(I liked) the distraction of the materials and the social engagement ... But it did distract from the ‘issues’”
  96. 96. “The fun bit can be a disadvantage because people can get carried away in playfulness and fail to connect the significance of activities to the design process”</li></li></ul><li>Conclusions<br /><ul><li>Successfully used with children and adults
  97. 97. It is cost-effective
  98. 98. Yields engineerable outcomes that can directly inform design while not assuming fixed patterns or contexts of use
  99. 99. Framework for creativity, focused on socio-technical system rather than the technology
  100. 100.  And also
  101. 101. Pipe cleaners good for representing wired communications
  102. 102. Feathers good for wireless communications</li></li></ul><li>The Future of the Future Technology Workshop<br />Future Learning Experience Workshop<br />Shift the focus completely off the technology, through the activities it enables, and onto the user experience<br />Comments, ideas, personal experiences?Email me at<br />
  103. 103. Thanks to ...<br />Chris Baber (University of Birmingham)<br />Josie Taylor (Open University)<br />Patrick McAndrew (Open University)<br />Daisy Mwanza (Open University)<br />Peter Lonsdale (Keele University)<br />James Cross (prototypes developer)<br />ALL FTW participants!<br />
  104. 104. For more see:<br />Vavoula, G., & Sharples, M., (2007). Future Technology Workshop: a collaborative method for the design of new learning technologies and activities. International Journal of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, 2(4), pp. 393-419. <br />