All entries for Thursday 11 January 2007

January 11, 2007

Games are a serious business

Writing about web page http://technology.guardian.co.uk/weekly/story/0,,1986993,00.html

...those responsible for a supposedly progressive arts festival should understand the incredible possibilities of interactive media to educate, inform and challenge in fresh, engaging ways. This isn’t even a new idea – Monopoly, of course, has its roots in The Landlord’s Game, developed in the first years of the 20th century to show how the economics of rented accommodation impoverished tenants.

Newsflash: videogames are still misunderstood and maligned in 2007 – no matter how much money they’re making, no matter how many suited soulless freaks try to turn them into franchise properties.

I reckon it is human nature, I do not know whether there is research on this, but it is our instintcs that lead us to doubt about anything new to us. Although games are not new, these have appeal amongst children and young people as these have been the most attracted to it. However, there is research in progress about the use of games on understanding abstract concepts amongst engineering students. Although games were not thought to be taken seriously they have many possibilties to help young minds to understand, engage and motivate.


Blogs versus real news

Writing about web page http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/technology/2007/01/blogs_versus_real_news.shtml

I realise that it is positive to play the role of the devil’s advocate as a means to be self critical, for instance, I use blogs a lot but I am aware that this is not everybody’s cup of tea and that you have to get something from it in order to actually use them and play with them. I feel I learn from them and that I will use what I post or maybe others during our studies so I keep reading and posting.

However, I got the feeling that some of these reactions towards emerging new ways of communication, which are certainly more personalised and are going to change the way we perceive the news, bring “mixed feelings” but calling what is not in a blog “real” news really makes ouchh!, especially coming from a blog journalist.

How about the way media broadcoasted a version of Saddam’s execution that give us a picture that has not relation whatsoever with what really happened there and that we all got it from a couple of mobile phones, so this means that we should not take this seriously either?

Just because it does not come from a traditional means like the news at ten does not mean it is not real. For me apart from entertaining (the news at ten works better than sleeping pills for me sometimes), it is informative, I am sure you get a lot of rubbish, in blogs as you get a lot of rubbish from traditional media when hearing what people say in the news (journalists and those who make the news). However we should bear in mind that it comes from people as well.


The OLPC Wiki

Writing about web page http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Main_Page

My first reaction:

e-learning, the “e” bit goes for enhancement, it is the means, this projects for me can go wrong if there is not enough informing and practical research on how children can benefit from technology, I am sure that children’s minds are sophisticated enough to work out how the lap top can work and what can they do with it (I have a posting about an experiment in Delhi conducted amongst children with no computer literacy skills).

However, my initial reaction is that all good project needs some background, in this case children e-pedagogy. Now, if this is covered then there is a hope. Otherwise, I come from a developing country and I see that projects with good intentions end up in nothing good for the population because there is something to develop and it is the country general infrastructure and education.

In addition there the issue about the content to be learned, what children have to learn?, what we need them to know? and other questions which can be resumed to what does a country need most from its future citizens in the long term? this is something for the government in every country to work on. This is certainly something that I will come back to later on, hopefully, to see something good coming out of it. http://www.laptop.org/


Lost in technology

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6232243.stm

A mobile has become that piece of technology very useful and at the same time very frustrating, I felt a couple of times like a tech dinosour, the one that cannot understand the mobile and would like to throw it against the wall, but I decided not to get angry or frustated anymore, I am coping with the fact that my mobile is this mysterious, enigmatic and French companion that I would not dare to leave it abandoned (French as I havent worked out yet how to communicate with it yet not knowing the lingo and what can do for me apart from making urgent phone calls).

Mobiles in this country and the way that contracts work causes that you sort end up with a new mobile every year, and when you think you cracked it, then you renew your contract (it has happened with me three times now) and you get a much better one that does wonderful things (mine is a wonderful camera). However, we might not have the time to work out some of the marvellous but intriguing capabilities yet.

What is more this article suggests for instance that a mobile might even plan your healthy or unhealthy meal in the future. Cracky. The future makes us all have hectic lives and maybe our mobiles will be our personal assistants, so I see that you sort of wake up every morning and would not have to think at all. This reminds me “Little Britain”, but instead of having a computer, you will end up asking you mobile something and then you will repeat “mobile says no”.


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