Friday, 7 June 2013

2013 New Media Centers Conference

UM wins 2 Awards at the NMC

The UM Team won both the Audience Choice Award and one of the Judge's Awards for their Idea Lab presentation called "Connectedness, Openness and Evolution in a Learning Space", which presented the research they did with Steve Lonn on Design Lab 1

Quoting from John Williams:

"Linda Knox and Matthew Barritt presented some of the CLE/Design Lab 1/GROCS research (under Steve Lonn's direction) at the national NMC conference this week. The presentation included an interactive "create your own connected learning environment" - a somewhat high-risk proposition for this audience. It seems the principles of active peer-to-peer learning works even among the pros. Of course this included Matthew's presentation. Note that the pipe cleaner and cardboard CLE included a second interactive media display - the iPad in the left of the picture.

NMC is one of the most active learning technologies higher-ed groups, has strong pedagogical emphasis, includes many research universities, and does the research that they co-publish with ELI: EduCause as the annual Horizon Report on emerging learning technologies in higher-ed - suggested reading:"

Herein I include a bit of the inside information of how this came to be.  It should be noted that this model was made almost entirely from the broad array of "sketching tools" available in DL1.  We had to buy more magnets, more alligator clips and a bit of fabric (and only because it was a better loose-weave match than the fabric on hand).

This photo shows the 2 table layout for the NMC setup:
- a laptop on the right screening some of the timelapse footage from DL1 that was part of the research
- the foreground table holding the interactive model of DL1

You can see (from left to right):      - the projection screen ( iPad Mini)
                                                   - the green screen corner
                                                   - the workbench and shelves (just flat photos for the model)
                                                   - the conversation area
                                                   - the glass wall (one panel with the "Welcome to DL1" sign)
                                                   - the timelapse laptop (on second table)
                                                   - and you can also see the 2 prize ribbons in front...

The way it worked was that you could choose a Pipe Cleaner Person, use one of our pre-made faces or draw one yourself, place the face in the head loops, then stick the feet into the styrofoam base/floor of DL1.  If you made the right connections there (an LED person, a battery person, a connector person) your idea (LED) would come to light (light up)!

Here's the Video fly-through of our DL1 model - a video is worth 100,000 words:

Tom showing a step in building the Pipe Cleaner People.

The People Holder made from cable racks, a bookend and lots of tiny binder clips.

Linda lowering the last floor pieces into the suitcase for travel.

Here is Linda showing the model to a couple of the attendees.
Note the shining green LEDs in the model in the photo below.

Matthew talking about the research findings with attendees.
In the photo on the right the attendee is from Case Western University in Ohio, and we discovered that they are embarking on the construction of similar spaces.  We plan to talk further with them about organizing near future collaborations and activities, hopefully including faculty from both institutions.

Here's what it looked like most of the time: very busy!
The supply of People & screens that attendees could add to the model, and a happy participant.


Here's a link to a quick stop-frame animation I made on the "set", also below.

And finally a shot of me with my very own pipe-cleaner avatar!
(the sign says "You can make a movie - it's easy!")

It was both fun and a great presentation of the work.  The photos I did not get include:
  - Linda ironing the graphics that had curled
  - me finishing making all the People at the desk in her room
  - putting various panels under a book under the TV in her room to flatten out the wall pieces


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