Checkout the latest Playground video, 'Playing with Rules'. Note this is a 29MB non-streaming video file. You will need Quicktime.
Stop press!Playground International Seminar: Unlocking kids' creativity for learning
The Playground Project had a big presence at the i3 Spring days conference
in Porto, Portugal. We hosted a workshop entitled 'Unlocking kids
creativity for learning: Learning issues of moving from GUI (Graphics User
Interface) to PUI (Perceptual User Interface)'. As well as the Playground team, this workshop featured:
In addition to this workshop, we held a Playground Project seminar attached to the Spring days meeting which was attended by over 50 portuguese teachers and trainers. As well as papers and presentations from our guest speakers and the playground team, there was a panel discussion with questions from the floor. The end of the day saw practical demonstrations being given of software developed by the Playground team and others."
Children in our London school are also continuing work on their games in their weekly computer club sessions. Their games are based on a multi-scene adventure game built by the project team. The children are adding new scenes that they've designed themselves and are programming functionality to the objects and characters within those scenes using tools available in the ToonTalk playground.
London seminar: 29 March 2001
Ken Kahn's experience
'I just returned from ACM1 where I exhibited the ToonTalk Playground for 4 full days. And it was a popular exhibit - I would say about 75% of the time there was at least 1 person visiting and at times as many as 10. The visitors ranged from kids (of all ages) including some who came as part of a school field trip, teachers, parents, and computer scientists. I even had one teacher who saw the exhibit on Saturday who assigned his class (over 30 12 or 13 year olds) to come in small groups on Monday and build a game and write about it - that was great but hectic since there were so many. Some really got into it and did neat things and asked good questions. I had 3 computers and sometimes there were groups on each machine exploring away. I would guess I had about 100 serious visitors a day (averaging about a 10 minute visit).'
GamePlace is up and running. This is where all our wonderful games
are stored. You can download the games and run them in ToonTalk
or you can play the browser based Java versions. Check out the Playground
Bulletin Board too.
ToonTalk - um jogo para criar jogos de computadorLançamento oficial deste revolucionário CD ROM na
Didáctica 2000 - Exponor - Porto
O que é o ToonTalk?
PathwaysPathways is now ready! Pathways provides a graphical interface that allows young children to build rules without text. So for example, suppose you want to express the rule:
"if I touch the blue monster, say ouch!"
You find a "stone" that illustrates the condition "if I touch" and drop it into a pathway. If it is the little girl that is going to say "ouch" you drop it into one of her pathways. Pathways look like scrolls and unfold as the rule gets longer.
Then you find a "stone" to represent "say" and drop that into the same pathway. A few more clicks to represent the inputs i.e. the blue monster and "ouch!" completes the job. Now whenever the little girl touches the blue monster she says "ouch!".
It really is simple. Pathways is not a full programming
language but does offer lots of power. Soon we'll be putting some simple
games written in Pathways to give you a really good idea of what is possible.
Remember that these games will be designed for you to change, and make
News from London:The latest visitor to the London playground is Jean-Luc Gurtner from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. He is spending his sabbatical summer term with us. Efi Paparistodemou, a PhD student at the Institute, is also working with us a few hours a week as a graduate assistant.
We are currently working on our specifications for multi-user capacity in ToonTalk and Imagine. This is not just about multi-user game play, but about means of fostering collaborative game construction. Multi-usability also includes the facility to have a central 'Market Place' of playground games and elements that users around the world can access.
News from Portugal:Manuela Andrade who is doing most of the work with childrens using ToonTalk, is beginning her research for a masters degree on Multimedia Educational Communication. She is envisaging doing the research on the iconic language we are developing for the Playground Project.