As part of the "Making Things" workshop at LKL, which aimed at promoting dialogue about technology and design through engaging with the processes and practices of making, I have been working with Dr Brock Craft on a couple of small projects exploring the (collaborative) use of tangibles in educational context.
One of these collaborations, the Spot-On project , was the result of a successful short grant on exploring the use of wireless sensor motes (Sun SPOT API), as well the combination of physical and digital representations for discovering spherical triangle (WiiMote IR camera & IR pens, Processing).
This approach was pursued at Nottingham with the Making Stuff collective, a group of LSRI researchers and PhD students playing at making creative pieces out of interactive digital technologies. In an exploratory and informal way, we brainstormed and designed - to various degree of finalisation - several pilots, prototypes or fully functional displays: the Magic Cushion (Phidgets & RFID tags, Processing and Powerpoint visualisation, support for story-telling), Pong (Phidgets & pressure sensors, physical user interface for the Pong game, promoting engagement in atypical scenarios), Chalk n' Talk (Phidgets & touch sensor, physical activation of audio streams hidden on a blackboard), Weatherman (Processing visualisation of environmental data, web mashup), Falling Apple (WiiMote IR camera & cap-mounted IR emitters, floor projection, interactive physical-digital game, specified but not implemented).
- Craft, B., Kent, P., and Van Labeke, N. (2008). Kinaesthetic and Collaborative Activities to Enhance Experience and Engagement among Secondary Mathematics Students. In Proceedings of the Shareable Interfaces for Learning Workshop (ShareIt - Brighton, UK). [PDF]