Student-made geology games

Putting a human face on science storytelling

student-made geology gamesLava flows down the halls of Main Street Middle School, in Montpelier, Vermont, and you must choose whether you’ll go with the flow or try to cool off somewhere and become an igneous rock. In another portion of the school, you’re the new kid, getting a tour from one of your peers when a volcano erupts, and you have only your geology wits (and a science teacher with fabulous hair) to save you.

These are middle schoolers building mobile, place-based games with ARIS, taking advantage of the game editor’s powerful new re-design and one science educator’s trust in letting his students demonstrate what and how they learn.

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3 ways to use Chatterpix with maps

Thinglink, augmented reality and gaming

ways to use Chatterpix with mapsAlert reader Lucia Hoegeveen asked a question about our suggestion that you create a map of a country and give each state it’s own voice. Now, as she pointed out, each Chatterpix you create can have only one mouth. So in order to make our Chatter-map, we’re going to need to app-smash Chatterpix in one of a couple different ways.

Or maybe we’ll just put them all together in a blender and hope for the best. I’ll let you know after I finish this delicious coffee.

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Tarrant Institute partners presenting at Dynamic Landscapes

Local educators and students presenting at Vermont state conference

“Do Make Create: Exploring Creative Ideas for the Classroom”

If you’re one of the many folks planning on attending Dynamic Landscapes 2014, the annual state-wide conference for Vermont’s education scene, be sure to check out these Edmunds and Essex students and educators! They’re presenting at this year’s conference.

Kathy Gallagher, Carole Renca and their students will be presenting “Creating a 21st Century School-wide Reading Community” Thursday at 1:30pm. They’ll be joined by Geoff Gevalt from the Young Writers Project.

Also Thursday morning are Eric Schoembs (Edmunds) and Dan Trenis (Lyman C. Hunt Middle School), presenting on “3D Printing:  Prototype, Products, and Processes”.

At the ARIS session, we'll be playing "Shape Invaders", a game of geometry and aliens created by GEMS technologist Angelique Fairbrother.

At the ARIS session, we’ll be playing “Shape Invaders”, a game of geometry and aliens created by GEMS technologist Angelique Fairbrother.

Friday morning, 6th grade math educator Laura Botte and her students will be presenting Project-Based Learning with ARIS: Engaging Students by Pairing Authentic Game Creation with Real-World Learning with BSD technologists Valerie Lodish, Kevin Grace and some of us from the Tarrant Institute. This is a hands-on session, so if you’re planning on attending, please bring a laptop, netbook or Chromebook if possible.

You can read more about the ARIS project here.

And Friday during the noon hour, students and facilitators from the Edge Academy at Essex Middle School will be talking “Engagement to Empowerment: Students at the Center of Change”. As we recently saw with the second full year of Edge’s Wild City Project, this is a truly effective and dynamic group of school game-changers. Do NOT miss this session.

Congratulations to both the educators and students for taking this opportunity to share their experiences at the state-wide level!

 

Edmunds Middle School is on the airwaves with ARIS

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Edmunds Middle School teachers, students and district technologists were on Commissioner’s Corner last night , talking about their experiences designing mobile iOS games with ARIS and the Echo Museum. We’re proud to say we knew them way back when.

If you’re interested in hearing from Laura Botte and Katie Wyndorf about this project, they’ll be at the 7th annual Middle Grades Conference, January 11th at UVM.

ARIS @ Echo

When last we left our trusty Edmunds Explorers, they had just defeated a horde of geometry-loving aliens who’d invaded the school, demanding triangles, circles and trapezoids. After that adventure, the two classes of 6th graders took to the streets of Burlington. Lake Street, to be precise, which led them down to the Echo Lake Aquarium and Science Center and the scene of their next big ARIS adventure.

 

A group of Edmunds 6th graders check out Echo's tidepool exhibit while collecting resources to build their own ARIS video games.

A group of Edmunds 6th graders check out Echo’s tidepool exhibit while collecting resources to build their own ARIS video games.

 

 

ARIS stands for Augmented Reality Interactive Storytelling, and it’s an open-source platform published by the University of Wisconsin to allow K-12 students to design and create their own place-based games for the iOS mobile platform. Museums across the country are starting to incorporate augmented reality to make visitors’ experiences more in-depth and authentic; where once students might’ve simply read a plaque about the lives of fur traders at the Minnesota Historical Society, now they have a chance to play the role of one, working through some of the challenges and hardships the life presented in order to advance through the tour.

And where Minnesota has fur traders, the Echo Center has frogs.

 

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Meet Vinnie.

Vinnie is a native Vermont bullfrog whose life and habits were drawn directly from Echo Center exhibits by Burlington School District technology information specialists and TIIE to form the short ARIS game “Frogworld”.

Students worked their way through the Frogworld game by gleaning information from plaques in Echo’s Frogworld exhibit. They also documented resources from the Echo Center exhibits for later use in their own games. Echo Center staff also got into the act. Executive director Phelan Fretz used ARIS’ Notebook feature to contribute his own frog to the Frogworld game, then spent lunch taking suggestions from students as to what kinds of behind-the-scenes information Echo could provide to support students’ own ARIS games.

 

Phelan Fretz, Echo Center director, used ARIS' Notebook feature to add this commentary about one of the frogs in the Frogworld exhibit. Players can leave text, audio, image or video notes for all other players to read.

Phelan Fretz, Echo Center director, used ARIS’ Notebook feature to add this commentary about one of the frogs in the Frogworld exhibit. Players can leave text, audio, image or video notes for all other players to read.

 

ARIS is one of a number of augmented reality platforms the Echo Center is piloting with local schools.

Edmunds is incorporating ARIS into a yearlong place-based unit examining the Lake Champlain basin through environmental, cultural, historic and opportunity lenses. The Echo Center hopes to make the local 6th graders’ ARIS games available to visitors as part of the museum tour when they’re completed.

 

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(Special thanks to the UVM College of Education and Social Services for their support of this project. )

Best. Game launch. Ever.

lbotteFollowing up on our intro to ARIS with geometry last Friday, this morning the 6th graders from Edmunds Middle School spent some time at the Echo Lake Aquarium and Science Center working through “Frogworld”, a demo ARIS game that made use of items at the Echo Center. After they played the game, they spent some time with the rest of the (non-frog) exhibits, collecting ideas for items they could incorporate into their own games.

We’re back at it tomorrow at Echo with another class of 6th graders. More news as it develops.

 

Geometry, aliens and ARIS at Edmunds Middle School

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Pop quiz, hotshot. What do geometry, aliens and the augmented reality gaming platform all have in common?

A: All were spotted last Friday at Edmunds Middle School in Burlington.

As part of a unit on exploring place, educators Laura Botte and Katie Wyndorf are having their students work with the free iOS app ARIS, an open-source game-creation platform. To kick things off, they collaborated with Angelique Fairbrother, technology coordinator for Franklin West SU, in bringing an introductory ARIS game into Edmunds’ classrooms. And out into the hallways. Also sometimes under the desks and on top of the lockers.

The two classes of 6th graders played “Shape Invaders”, a game where aliens ask for help with geometry. Students had to locate and scan QR codes scattered around the school, using them to collect various shapes. In order to keep the aliens happy, students then calculated the perimeter and area of each shape.

 

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Students worked in teams to solve the clues necessary to come up with the area and perimeter of each shape — skills not usually encountered in 6th grade math. With a little help and a whole lot of persistence, the aliens were appeased and the students got an introduction to the ARIS platform.

Next week, the Edmunds students will be heading to the Echo Lake Aquarium and Science Center to build their own ARIS games around the themes of culture, ecology, history and sustainability.

FWSU technology coordinator Angelique Fairbrothers introduces two Edmunds students how to make changes to the game in ARIS' web-based editor.

FWSU technology coordinator Angelique Fairbrothers introduces two Edmunds students how to make changes to the game in ARIS’ web-based editor.

ARIS stands for Augmented Reality Interactive Storytelling, and is designed to be an easy entrypoint for students to design games incorporating video, audio and character-driven activities that tell stories by moving players through a landscape or incorporating place-based activities. Last year, the Tarrant Institute created an ARIS game for Vermont students to collect book trailers for the DCF 2013 books.

We can’t wait to see what games the Edmunds students build with Echo’s resources! Stay tuned for further updates.

(ps. A huge thank you to UVM’s College of Education and Social Services for lending Edmunds additional iPads for game play.)

 

 

Introducing ARIS to a new crop of teachers

How one UVM class of pre-service teachers investigated the possibilities of this increasingly popular augmented-reality tool:

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read the whole article here

ARIS: The EpiQRious Caterpillar

A narrated walk-through of our current ARIS game in development: The EpiQRious Caterpillar.

Wi-fi considerations for using ARIS at UVM

aka What a Lovely Gravel Path That Is.

Audrey muses on the current wi-fi coverage situation at UVM while trying to place characters for an ARIS game on campus.