Tuesday, September 30, 2008

TeachMeet08@SLF: Mobile Games

The first rule of TeachMeet is...

I spoke at TeachMeet08 on the subject of Mobile Games - games you can play on a mobile phone. I tried to talk about how they might be useful in an educational context. I must admit to being a bit disappointed with myself. Ewan McIntosh was being very fierce in enforcing the no Powerpoint rule - and I panicked. I tried to do my spot without the aid of s presentation safety net and it didn't go well. You see, I use a presentation in much the same way as a drunk uses a lamppost - more for support than for illumination. It helps keep me on topic. Without a presentation, I fear I was a bit rambling (well more rambling than usual) and I definitely missed some stuff out that I meant to say. I got so confused at one point that Mark Pentleton had to remind me (via the Twitter backchannel): "it's Wednesday and you're not on an escalator" - perhaps you had to be there. :-)

However, it was after the event that I really got annoyed with myself. I'd read the wiki and I knew about the "No Powerpoint" rule... but I also knew about the get out clause. The TeachMeet rules say, "No PowerPoint allowed... unless... you're doing 20 slides for 20 seconds each". (I think it used to say this on the TeachMeet08 page too but I couldn't face ploughing through the history to see if it had been deleted and who changed it!) Anyway, that was my plan (and despite appearances to the contrary, I had planned what I was going to say). I created a presentation of twenty-three slides and planned to spend much less than twenty seconds on a number of them and a bit longer than twenty seconds on a few. You can see the result below as I've saved my presentation as a movie and added a soundtrack with more or less what I was going to say. It lasts seven minutes and thirty-five seconds - which I think is pretty darn good! (And if Ewan had been there, looking fierce and warning me when I had two minutes to go, I think I could have delivered it inside the seven minute mark!) So, this is what I might have said if Ewan hadn't frightened me. :-)

The photographs used in the presentation are all mine, or covered by a Creative Commons licence. It may have been difficult to see the photo credits on the presentation but it is impossible to see them in the video. So, here they are here: Bryan Adams High School Hallway by Dean Terry, spectrum2 by tetratoon, Sharp EL-8 by teclasorg, www.tecaeromex.com-59 by paulafunnell, Gethin loves Flickr, 13 Apr 08 by Castaway in Wales, Noo Possession by Saad, Moon landing from NASA, Watercrowns! blue by rumpelstiltskin1, Games by tabrandt and Is there anything at the end of the tunnel? by innoxiuss.

Games I mentioned included:
In the Flashmeeting chat from my bit of the evening Fons shared a link to 7scenes as another source of GPS enabled activities. I haven't had a chance check it out properly but it looks interesting. Also, after I'd spoken, a chap from Wild Knowledge came up to tell me about what they were doing. It's not exactly game based but I think their GPS based activities look interesting and they will probably feature in a post in the near future.

Also, in the Twitter backchannel, Derek Robertson reminded me of Spore. I was aware of Spore, but his prompt set me looking for information on Spore for phones other than the iPhone. The results of this search will form the basis of a future rant! You have been warned.

Finally, while in the Twitter backchannel, I can't resist blowing my own trumpet again. On the backchannel Ewan said, "David Muir always makes me want to be a teacher again when he speaks. Just as well he's the one teaching the teachers every day." From somebody I admire and have learned a bucketload of stuff from, I am more than a little pleased with this comment. I think I want Ewan to be a teacher again too - I would certainly love to have him teaching my children. Scottish Education's loss is very definitely Channel 4's gain. (Although I'm slightly confused by the second bit of the comment - I think he's saying that it's just as well I'm not in school, causing chaos with pupils!)

So there you are. My seven minute presentation more or less as I meant to do it complete with links and associated ramblings. Let me know what you think of mobile gaming in education and please tell me if you are doing it already.


John said...

I enjoyed your 7 minutes, but I know what you mean, I had a few keynote slides for my 2 minutes, and there wasn't a mac so i ended up being pretty unfocused. Powerpoint as tele -prompter.
Spore not on non iphones but all the other games are for window's mobile, I love to see some of the gps stuff packaged for iPhones.

David said...

I did concentrate on Windoze Mob because I don't have an iPhone (yet!) and I wanted to try the stuff I was recommending. However, I knew that the new iPhone had GPS, so went to look for GPS enabled apps - but I wasn't hugely impressed.

However, there were a ridiculous number of iPhone users at the TeachMeet, so perhaps some of you could submit reviews. Come on John, your starting a new job, so clearly you'll have time on your hands. :-)

David said...

Oops - "you're" not "your"!

Chris said...

Just as well that b..... Ewan is b.....ing off , isn't it?

David said...

Hello Chris

Not at all... he may have frightened me but I did say he'll be missed!

(Did he frighten you too, or are you used to him?)

Chris said...

Where d'you think he learned to be frightening? ;-)