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Here is where to post and discuss your reactions to one of the two readings assigned.
allysonjo7787, ktkeckeisen, vshoffner, and 14 others are discussing. Toggle Comments
I read the article about EGO-TRAP. I found the article difficult to read through because of how dense it was. In my opinion, it was not very well written but I’m not in the science field so this type of article is not something I’m used to reading. I’m not entirely excited about education either but I did find some interesting points in the article. I found it interesting that the technology used in Ego trap is “archaic” compared to the tech used nowadays. This just shows how much technology can change in only 5 or 6 years. I can’t imagine what technology will be in the next five years if this is the shelf life of certain technology. Now we have smartphones and tablets like the iphone, droid, and ipad. This totally changes what can be done in museums. We have already seen that certain museums are creating apps to keep the visitor engaged like MoMA and AMNH. Also I found it interesting that some of the students saw their phone as an extension of themselves. This shows how much phones have become an integral part of our lives even back in 2006 (when I just got a cell phone and tried to realize how I lived without one). Now in 2011, how do people see cell phones? Are they still just as important as in 2006? I definitely think so and probably even more important. I’ve seen people cry or freak out because they lost their cell phone. This just shows how important it is for museums to use this technology that everyone is already comfortable with. Amazing things can happen. I just hope more and more museums realize how important technology is for them.
Keep in mind the article was written in English and not the author’s native language.
Ok understandable. I retract my comment about how it was written.
I read “Ego-Trap” and will begin by saying that I am always a little turned off by the use of cell phones or other media devices/tablets etc in museums. I guess I think that way because in my mind they might subtract from the social aspect of learning in museums as well as interaction with the actual objects/exhibits etc. After reading on about the EgoTrap project I was surprised and happy to see that it combined ‘hands on’,’minds on’ and social learning processes. The author briefly mentions Vgotsky, but it is important to note that he along with other learning theorists emphasize the importance of social and group learning, particularly in younger groups.
I also liked that the project could have pushed users to think even beyond the museum (ie who is behind technology, can it always be trusted?), a key understanding for youth today. The article also sparked a few questions including one a user have a different experience using a different cell phone? And a more general question; does the use of a mobile phone in a “learning environment” make it ok to use in all learning environments, will cell phones become more common and acceptable devices in the classroom?
Overall I was glad to see that the use of mobile technology in this project didn’t completely override social interactions and the importance of objects/activities in museums, it is a great example of how to achieve symbiosis.
Oh PS- I also wondered if 1.5 hours for an experience with this age group might be too long?
It also seems like some children could finish way ahead of others and that might lead to some logistical problems for the educator.
I LOVE your point about whether or not “the voice” in technology can be trusted. I wonder if any of the students internalized that lesson.
I don’t necessarily think 1.5 hours is too much, especially when you’re constantly changing gears. I think that has good way of keeping interest. I could see, however, groups getting out of sync because of some students moving at a faster pace.
I don’t feel using your own cellphone is much different then walking around with an audio guide glued to your head. It’s just a most cost efficient way of conveying the same sorts of information. I also feel that by using some of “their own” people are possibly more likely to participate because they don’t have to learn a new device or use something that isn’t theirs.
I read the article “Museums, digital media and a perpetual beta way of communicating”. It took me a couple of pages to get into the article but I really enjoyed reading about new ideas and concepts in integrating participatory elements in museums. One of the projects discussed was the 23 Skulls project. I actually really liked this idea in the sense that museums are owning historical elements of their community as part of the museum experience and as a community experience. The project creates a fictitious story (game) for visitors where a museum inspector has gone missing and the visitors must follow images/maps/videos/etc. that has been left behind to solve an unraveling conspiracy in Vejle city (where this takes place). Visitors must visit different locations and respond through multiple social medias. (This is a really rough summary of the basic concepts).This project is looking into augmented reality games as a new learning tool for visitors. I think the idea sounds fun and I like that it takes place outside of the museum, though I think it could work in a museum. This is in the very early stages of being researched and I found it interesting the article discussed a negative aspect which presented itself through the use of using headphones, discussing that when visitors listen to headphones they are missing other elements of the town (church bells ringing, birds, etc.) Something I thought would be a concern is when you make a visitors experience rely so heavily on technology outside of the museum what happens when it doesn’t work. If the player of this game can’t bring up Flikr on their Iphone, or another site/app, hopefully that visitor can still take anyway information and not remember frustration. Technology is wonderful when it works. But it sounds like the workers on this project are still in the early stages and will be able to work out the kinks when they present themselves. A similar project was discussed in London following the trails of Jack the Ripper (which I would do in a creepy heartbeat). I like that the article talked about how games are engaging for people and incorporating them takes the learning away from simply receiving information (or whatever it is) and created active participation. At one point the author brings up Disneyland “which may be described as a first generation of experience economically conceived products providing its visitors with meaningful experiences”. I understood the point that was being made in relation to the article specifically but I feel like a lot of museum today would want to shy away from creating a theme park experience or exhibiting theme park exhibits. The article was overall really interesting and as a visitor I would probably try one of the activities if available though to be honest I would judge how my initial experience was in determining if I would ever do it again.
I read the article “Museums, digital media and a perpetual beta way of communicating” by Kjetil Sandvik. I agree with Erin. The beginning was a little dry, but the rest of the article brought up some interesting points.
Let’s start with the title. I had no idea what a “perpetual beta way of communicating” means. Luckily, Sandvik described the concept at the beginning of her paper: “When devices are connected to the internet, applications are no longer software artifacts, they are ongoing services.” In other words, add new features as they come as part of the overall experience. You do not have to release one new feature at a time in a grand unveiling. These programs should be open ended and open to change.
She also stressed creating effective mashups, which she defines as an application that uses and combines data from two or more sources to create something new. Cultural institutions could easily do this by creating apps that use google maps, youtube, GPS, layer, etc. Another benefit of these services is that they are all free! After paying a $25 entrance fee at MOMA or the Met, who would want to pay additional fees for a mobile app? Using these types of services to create a mobile app sounds much more cost effective than developing new software.
I also liked how Sandvik spent time discussing why the game format is a good fit for a cultural institution. I admit that I am often skeptical of video games. My brother, for example, can spend hours playing NHL hockey and assassins creed on his xbox. However, Sandvik did convince me that augmented reality games have a role at cultural institutions. She notes that these type of games put “the users in the role as participants rather than recipients.” This was a powerful statement. Don’t we watch visitors to actively participate in content rather than consume it passively? In this type of service, the institution and visitor become co-creators.
Sandvik demonstrated her argument effectively through her 23 Sculls case study. I was surprised that the game originally targeted foreigners with a language barrier. What an interesting way to communicate a city’s cultural history through a type of universal language-the internet. Sandvik described the ways in which the internet, camera, GPS, etc are reshaping and producing a new sense of spatial reality. The 23 sculls, like other augmented reality programs, encourages the participant to navigate through physical and virtual spaces. In many ways, these augmented reality apps are performances in which the visitor is a prime participant.
I hope I get to participant in a mobile narrative!
I read the ECO-TRAP article. I found the article to be very interesting and I loved the entire idea of making a trip to a museum almost like a puzzle or a game. The idea of an overarching narrative for the science center to guide visitors on a kind of adventure is a great way to make the experience memorable and enjoyable. I thought the use of mobile phones instead of a foreign piece of technology was a stroke of genius because it makes the whole program more familiar and therefore easier and less scary to use. I also found it interesting that they tried to make it as cheap as possible using the “archaic” technology at the time so it would be more accessible to people. However I did think a few of the things mentioned in the article could be somewhat problematic for example when “the woman” groups you up with a partner. This is done to facilitate collaborative teamwork to figure everything out but even in the article they noticed that it didn’t enhance communication between individuals because everyone was getting the same calls and texts. When I finished ready the article I found myself wondering how successful this program was? I think there small study of 300 school kids using, 3-4 classes being interviewed, and 2 students being video taped was somewhat small, depending of course on the size of the institution (If its a small science center than that might be enough). I would like to see some qualitative surveys on some things like how enjoyable the program was, did they learn anything, and any critiques on the program. Another thing I was wondering is how would this program be able to spread to include other visitors that aren’t in school groups. From the tone of the article it seemed that it was more geared to the school groups visiting the center and not the normal visitor. If the science centers main constituents are these school groups then I can understand having programs dedicated to them but I for one would feel left out cause it does seem like a fun program to participate in. I would definitely love to see this type idea adopted by a history museum creating a Sherlock Holmes type of event or a treasure hunt type of thing.
I also thought it was weird they only had 6 informants for the evaluation of the program!
I agree- the sample size seems a bit small!
I also read the ECO-TRAP article. What I liked best about the whole idea and concept was that people were using a technology that they were not only familiar with, but also personally owned. Also since the program was designed so that the museum called the visitors for each mission, there were even fewer obstacles between the technology and the user. I think we can also safely assume that most middle and high schoolers own cell phones. I personally wish that I could participate in this program. While the article didn’t necessarily praise the educational outcomes, participants had an experience that when tailored correctly, could promote teamwork and long-lasting and important social skills.
I imagine it’s also easier for children to stay on task during a less-structured program when the the whole class is frequently receiving cell phone calls.I think they would also be excited about using their cell phones on a class trip because they probably fight with their teachers all day about silly cell phone restrictions.
I didn’t quite understand how the museum exactly gathered the information they used to put the children into partner groups. Did the students enter info like a text message? Or send some sort of email? Also, it seemed like they were getting a lot of instructions and this would tie up the kids’ hands and thought maybe headphones might be better to keep their hands free to do activities. I wonder how guests not participating in the program reacting to these kids running around talking about lab rats and hackers. Would it ruin other people’s more “traditional” museum experience if the children were too loud or rambunctious? Would it confuse people if there were talking about some secret story they can’t see anywhere else in the museum? I started to think about how different types of museums could use this type of technology or program. It might be interesting to develop history or art “missions” for those types of museums. May lead to some interesting thoughts, ideas, and reflections.
I was able to take away a few good points and maybe a few good ideas from the museums digital media and the perpetual beta. It is my opinion that there is not a place for mobile learning in every museum, but when well designed and mission driven there are many museums/historic sites that make great use of mobile technologies. This paper discussed a great example of mobile learning in the 23 Skulls project, Vejle Museum (Denmark). 23 Skulls took place outside the walls of a museum and included a game using augmented reality in the city of Denmark. They were able to achieve a dynamic, engaging “mashup” of activity that uses the (CPC) principles of: collaboration, participation and co-creation.
One of the aspects about the project that I found most useful was its ability to achieve great levels of engagement on a budget. Many of the mobile web learning platforms or applications I learned about in the Mobile Learning expo are very expensive. At a small museum the cost of mobile learning can be prohibitive. This example shows how mobile learning can be achieved on a budget.
“An important part of this is exploring the potentials of Web 2.0 application and how these may be mashed-up and integrated into each other creating cheap but effective and prosperous hybrid systems as an alternative to more expensive stand-alone systems which very few museums actually can afford.” Sandvik.
The program included many of the same websites and devices that participants are used to using. This clever use of technology the “mashup” was mostly free to produce. Although I am sure its production was very time consuming.
“Facebook, Twitter, Flikr, Google Earth together with mobile phone embedded technologies like text messaging, GPS, MP3-players and so on. Mobile – and networked – media (Molz 2004).”
The game seems fun and engaging. I think I would enjoy the experience as a visitor to Denmark. I would be curious to see how many people fully participate and engage the game on the WordPress blog, or just play the game on their own and don’t blog.
“But the students are to connect the dots themselves, they need to ‟write‟ the story about the conspiracy using their phones as cameras and uploading pictures as well as small pieces of text to the game‟s website (built in WordPress, another Web 2.0-application, and integrated with Flikr and Google Doc forms)” Sandvik.
One of the other things I liked about the “mashup” was that I could see it translating to other games, stories and experience in other cities/museums. One in particular that comes to mind is the story of Antoine LeBlanc and his famous murder trials in Morristown. The use of augmented reality and a “mashup” of social media, Web technologies would be a great way to investigate the murders he was accused of, his trials and the bizarre events that happened after his death on the Morristown Green. (If you don’t know this story it is a creepy one just in time for Halloween!)
I read the article by Kjetil Sahdvik. He is developing a program called 23 Skulls to promote exploration of the history of the city of Vejle in Denmark. The project is in its beginning stages and has to undergo testing yet according to the notes. However, it was interesting to read about his goals for the project. He wishes for the game to empower people to participate rather than be spoon-fed information by the museum. He references “museum without walls” concept in that his game uses mobile devices and applications like Google Maps and Flickr to get people out of the museum setting and explore the city. He wants the game to be with rich stories, fictional and real, all for ‘prousers’ (I see this as users who also produce content) who he wants to have an experience in the real historical places. I thought it was interesting comparison with museums using cityscape historical architecture to create stories and Disneyland as having narrative architecture to create stories based on what the visitor already knows from books and movies. There is a lot of potential I think in environmental storytelling with mobile devices because people are more interested in history of a place when they are actually there.
He emphasizes collaboration, participation and co-creation. It seems in part with the game, people can upload pictures and answer questionnaires on Google docs. People play the game and he talks about co-creation, it is structured content creation. It is a good idea like Simon suggests to have some structure so people can generate appropriate content. It would be better if he could get some of the owners of the businesses or places on the map to get involved with the project and offer some physical interaction, signs, handouts or even places to eat on your journey through the city that is connected to the game. I will be interested to see how this project may change once they get enough feedback from the users.
I read the EGO-TRAP article. My first thought was to kick myself for never having thought about the “random button pushing” effect in science centers. Once the issue was presented to me, it was incredibly obvious and I realized I’ve seen it over and over, but prior to reading this article I hadn’t thought about it at all. I love the idea of having an external way to tap into the exhibit which was both optional and non-disruptive to visitors who chose to use the exhibit in a traditional fashion. When we discussed this kind of technological participation on Monday, I was really skeptical- it seemed to me that having an external (optional and technology-based) narrative would somehow detract from the experience of traditional visitors, by focusing less on their experiences and leaning more heavily on those that chose the new narrative. However, after reading this article, I see that it is possible to embed an additional narrative without adversely affecting a traditional experience.
I had a bit of a hard time with some of the references to educational theorists in this article, even though I consider myself at least somewhat familiar with contemporary educational theory. The other issue I had is that I really have no idea what “meta” means. Can anyone explain this to me? I keep coming across different explanations, and don’t really know how to apply it in this context.
I also wondered about how effective this program would be when individuals or very small groups visited. I see how pairing classmates (who all entered the exhibit and experience at the same time) would work well, but what about people who entered a few minutes apart? People who were paired with strangers? I would like to see how the logistics of this experience worked in a practical setting.
Like some of the rest of you, who commented about the use of cell phones, I found the reactions of visitors to the use of their cell phones to be interesting. As a cell phone addict, it’s interesting to take a step back and look and the cultural implications of and uses for pervasive cell phone usage.
I read the Ego-Trap article. I enjoyed the idea of they were trying to accomplish and what they were trying to get from the use of mobile phones in the exhibition. I really like their idea that it was because of they want kids to be interactive and excited about going to a science exhibit. Though I do agree that when reading it I did agree that it was a tad dense and I myself am more of a visual learner so it would have been neat for me to see how this all actually played out in the museum all they were explaining it in the paper. Because just going through the levels and actually saying the levels gives you a totally different feel. Which is also part of the reason my reaction would be different if i could find something visional to go. So I spent some time online and finally came across…
which is a youtube link to a cute video of people at the exhibition EGO-TRAP! now, its in danish (which i don’t speak but if anyone knows danish and wants to translates or knows how to do close cations that would be awesome) But I thought that this one gave enough camera shots of the kids and the museum and what the exhibit was about that I really got an idea of what was going on. I see the cell phones getting used and saw the wheelchair part, though the guy talking does go on for quite awhile. Anyway, for people who like are visual learners like myself, i found this helpful. And also looking at all these kids seeming to be loving made me realize that that skepticism that I had while reading the article was much less after watching parts of this video. I did not believe that cell phones could work out this well but after reading the whole article and the few clips from the kids it seems that it can work out pretty well and the museums in NY are also showing this as well. So hopefully they can keep it up in the future.
Love the video! Feels less creepy on film, with the happy students, then described on paper, with them being sort of manipulated by the voices. They seem okay with it. My favorite part is the kids face at around 4 minutes, when I assume he’s told the woman is the bad guy. He looks SO surprised! And I kept looking for the giant rat, but I don’t think they show it/her. And that guy does talk for a long time…
I choose to read the article “Museums, digital media and a perpetual beta way of communicating” by Kjetil Sandvik. This reading provided me with great insight of how museums and other entities looking to create programming in a game format should not be apprehensive. Never having played computer or video games I always thought there had to be an end prize. Having a player progresses through a challenge, acquiring points or items along the way and achieving a great reward or goal would be perceived by many as hard to translate in an actual world.
However this article articulated very well that the process and development of gaming as well as affective use of technology is not about a reward or prize but an experience. Institutions and organizations need to take the time to study and understand the ideas of an “experience economy” that as described in the article explains that “staging experience is not about entertaining customers, it’s about engaging them”. And while slaying a dragon or saving a princess would be pretty epic, knowing how to engage and provide participants and not users with an experience that develops long time memories is more rewarding.
I am interested to see how these programs are developed not just for general users but those with disabilities. Moving around a city or outside may be difficult for some. I did come across this article that discusses how eye movement can be tracked and translated like a computer mouse. If anyone has more resources I would love to know.
Cool article, I would be interested to see this in action. Like, do you start with a blank sheet or do you change a image in front of you? It wasn’t all that clear from the article. But the use of technology to allow those with disabilities to do things that we take for granted is awesome, and eye movement must be hard to program for.
I read Ego-Trap and found it very interesting. The participants were lead around a science exhibit and instructed by a woman’s voice via their cell phones what experiments to perform, like keeping a rat in a maze. Later, they are paired with another participant and their cell phones are ‘hacked’ by a man’s voice that says they can’t trust the woman, and leads them, if they choose, to her secret lair where we discover that she is in fact a giant rat, and she forces them to complete a rat maze before they can leave. This premise struck me more as a sociological experiment then a science museum exhibit, with the participants ‘deciding’ to believe the man over the woman, although that is exactly what they are expected to do, choosing the woman over the man doesn’t seem to have a outcome. This I found odd, because surely someone would choose the woman over the man, right? Or is the woman so unlikeable, with her second guessing and criticism, that no one would want to pick her? But this is besides the point.
The more pertinent take away of this experiment is the way that the participants used they cell phones to be guided. The use of personal cell phones in a way created a comfort zone for the visitors, and allowed them to listen and respond to the voices in a way that walkie talkies wouldn’t have, because they were foreign to the user. People are accustomed to hearing voices from their phones and immediately responding to them, so interacting was not a new or novel idea. Also, that all the participants treated their phones almost as people themselves was interesting, that they described following them and listening to them, like they were people, was a strangely accurate way to describe the modern relationship to a cell phones, like they are people we interact with, they are our close friends we spend a lot of time with.
I read Ego-Trap as well. My first question in all of this is WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DECIDE TO SIDE WITH THE WOMAN/RAT!? It explains what happens if you choose the hacker…this is why I always had a problem with those choose your own ending books.
I really enjoyed this article and thought this type of exhibition experience could be a lot of fun. Honestly, I often have issues staying focused in science centers I don’t know how children are expected to. This activity was a great way to keep students/visitors involved and really get “the big point” out of each of the exhibitions.
I too thought it was interesting to see the change in technology in just a few years and also how, “Researchers talk about an actual paradigm shift in museum learning.” (Nowotny
et Al., 2003; Quistgaard & Kahr-Højland, 2010; Pedretti, 1999).
Some of these sources are as far back as 1999 and we are STILL experiencing this paradigm shift! I think because of that nature of museums and the rapid change in technology and how people learn, museum learning will be constantly changing and adapting to the generations.
This article gave an excellent example of a museum trying to get ahead of that shift and now we see it as so outdated. More museums should try to entice visitors to actually “get” and “complete” exhibitions.
I read the Ego Trap article and found it to be a very interesting exhibit and experience. Thanks to Cori for finding a video of the exhibit in action which was very useful in trying to imagining exactly how the exhibit works, and what visitor’s reactions would be.
I agree with Pam’s point about what happens if visitor’s wants to believe the woman/rat in the end instead? Is that not an option, and if it is, what is the outcome? I feel like adding this would make it feel much more like you were a part of the end result, rather than being led to a certain conclusion.
I loved that the participants used their own phones, making it much more personal as well as cost effective than using a headset/audio guide. As Melanie mentioned this made the visitors much more comfortable, because it is a piece of technology they use everyday. Hearing the voices from their personal cell phone likely made them much effective.
After reading the article and seeing the video I wished that I could try it out, or that there was some kind of equivalent at science museums nearby. I think it would keep kids engaged and help to foster an interest science and want to come back again. There was some discussion in a previous post about the experience being two long at 1.5-2 hours. Nina Simon mentions Ego Trap briefly in one of her blog posts and states that there is such a great reward in the end for those dedicated enough to finish the entire experience so it makes the 1.5-2 hours worth it.
The blog post Simon mentions Ego Trap in is here:
Hello all and Happy Halloween!
So, I read the article “Museums, Digital Media and a Perpetual Beta Way of Communicating.” I was a bit over my head and, while I did feel as if things were better explained as the article went on, it still used a lot of techno-jargon that I just don’t know.
Anywho, I found myself having two opinions about the whole concept discussed in the article (which Erin and Stephanie have already articulated better than I could) of participatory and engaging mobile activities for museums. I really liked the idea behind the “23 Skulls” project. I think that’s a very inventive way to introduce outsiders to the history of your community and some of the fun facts that your average guidebooks might not mention. However, I found myself wondering how far all of these areas are from the museum itself. Personally, if I went to visit a museum, I wouldn’t really want to wander around town instead of looking at exhibits. That’s the whole reason you go to a museum!
I also wondered about how much the users (excuse me prod-users) were actually learning and taking away from this activity. Did they see it just as a fictitious game that is forgotten as soon as it’s over? Is learning about history this way so much more effective than in the normal museum way that it necessitates all of the expense that must go into creating such a program?
As you can see, I was left with more questions than answers after reading this article. I think I would need to experience something like this myself before reaching a final verdict on its true applications.
I’m not saying the idea is horrible. I actually really like it, but for museum use, I think it should be applied to the exhibits already produced by a museum and used inside that museum. I also questioned (as did Erin and Stephanie) what would happen if Flickr or YouTube or whatever was down for the day or was having technical difficulties? What happens if your mobile device dies in the middle of the game and the player is outside, nowhere near an outlet? I think when a program relies entirely upon this type of technology to educate its users, with no physical back-up (labels, pamphlets, etc.) it might be unpredictable.
I too read the Ego Trap article and loved it. I did ask the same thing as Pam, what if you pick the woman, or if you mess up and answer very strange and not programmed answers along the way? Does the system shut down altogether or is there enough programming to get each participant to the end. I loved the idea of this being the new interactive- a sort of personal tour that isn’t a boring voice telling you to start and stop as you find the next large number marker.
Along those lines, if the system that was invented for the Siri iPhone aprogram could be applied to personal tours, and the answers focused on the exhibit at hand, could visitors have a very personal but also entertaining visit. The scaffolding aspect of the program would be interesting to read in the Education classes, to get the take of Claudia and Saralinda in terms of new school programming, and the absence of a school program educator.
For something created in 2006, this was ahead of its time. I would have liked to know more about the people and developers behind the program, and maybe more information on the intended purpose. For how many museums that took on the program, there weren’t nearly as many as I would have liked to be seen listed. With the protype already established, I can imagine it would be easier for more museums to adapt the program than the ones that already had at the time of publication.
Now if only the program could have a distant learning aspect- maybe if people aren’t at the actual museum but visiting on line and can take the tour via their cell phone and digitally have a similar experience. That might include many more visitors as well as increase the awareness of such project.s
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