Tuesday, May 22, 2007

eLive 2007 - Tim Rylands - Keynote

Tim Rylands

Computers Overcome Most Problems Unless They Electronically Refuse - Acrostic poem by one of Tim's pupils.

It's about talking. Tim walks through the Myst games and they talk and they write. It is a slow game - walking pace. It's not about thumb speed and fighting. There are good female characters - not pneumatic tomb raiders. The worlds are written into existence and that spills over into the children's writing. Even reluctant writers think there's stuff that's worth recording!

He showed a short video of his children talking about, reacting too and participarting in the game. Brilliant, He just sat in the middle of the class working through the experience with the pupils. Brilliant, When he said it was time for lunch they all went, "Aww!" Brilliant.

One of the other things they did was film themselves talking about their writing. They sat in front of enlarged pictures from the game to put themselves into the game while they talked about it. Other schools send films of their children doing the same things.

It's all about the planning! Children can now work independently on film projects. The public information film is a good vehicle. Communication, not technology. "Everybody should have a magnificent obsession!" The children are encouraged to make a presentation and films showing their obsession.

It is a shared experience. The wireless mouse gets passed around and the whole class gets involved.

The game slows things right down. Children are encouraged not just to rush through things but to stand!

Al sorts of other things - postcards, maps, charcter studies, write your own game, ... Powerpoint games - take pictures in four directions move on a bit, four more pictures... Hyperlink to create Myst like game. It looked brilliantly. Wrote music to go with it.

Create simple flip book animation on the iPod. Children are immersed in a visually rich world. We should help children to analyse visual media - emulate it even.

He demonstrated a piece of software called The Hat (for windows). Picks names from a list. Can choose one or more names to be selected.

He is a believer in emergent planning... He thinks putting learning outcomes on the board is limiting. Ask them at the end what they have learned. If you've taught them correctly, they will tell you what you expected. If you've done it better, they'll tell you a whole lot more stuff too!

This made a huge improvement - especially in boys writing. Not all down to games - whole lot of other stuff too.

Myst is the biggest selling games - second only to the Sims. Has the highest level of female players. Because of what he was doing, Rand Miller (creator of Myst) made contact and launched the new game in Tim's classroom. NOw working with Joe Moretti to produce Myst Live for children.

Tim doesn't set set discrete tasks, he sets challenges.

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