Innovative Pilot Education: StoryBOX
StoryBOX facilitates game-based language learning. It enables those who teach group three of Dutch elementary schools to create a flexible, physical environment in which pupils explore language using technologically enhanced interactive objects. Pupils will learn to express themselves by physically linking words and concepts to their everyday lives. Research shows that, in Dutch elementary schools, the results of language education are disappointing. In particular non-technical aspects, such as comprehension, are hard to teach. Waag Society's Pilot Education StoryBOX focuses on contextual language education. StoryBOX consists of tangible, technologically enhanced objects that facilitate learning by playing. This engages pupils to explore language, in an educational format that bridges formal and informal learning. StoryBOX stimulates the use of the senses in language education.
StoryBOX creates an accessible and intuitive gaming environment for learning language and meaning. Gaming environments provide a safe and exciting place to experiment and explore the world. By playing games, cognitive and behavioral processes are being practiced, such as problem solving, vocabulary development and social skills. StoryBOX adds value for both teachers and pupils, by providing them with innovative tools. Pupils will connect words and concepts to their everyday lives, using the technologically enhanced objects. Among the StoryBOX tools are interactive blocks that pupils can use to collect, trade and publish words and associations. These blocks are containers for letters, words, sounds, and images that children find in their everyday lives. The blocks are enhanced with LED displays, sensors, small cameras or recorders and other electronics. Part of the process is to stimulate children to create and tell their own stories. Children, age six and seven, enjoy narrative play, which StoryBOX stimulates by bringing familiar objects and new words to their play. Media artist Marloeke van der Vlugt helps designing the interaction of StoryBOX' components and developing game scenarios. Recently an advisory panel of teachers and pupils has been installed.
Waag Society engages in an iterative process of designing concepts, mock ups, demos, and prototypes together with the prospective users: prototyping. Prototyping fulfils an important role in the design process. By quickly materializing concepts, new ideas are generated and tested. Prototyping StoryBOX will result in a fully functioning StoryBOX prototype that will be evaluated in classrooms. The University of Amsterdam's Teachers College (ILO) will measure the actual learning effects. Market research will be performed, an exploitation model will be developed, and a consortium will be formed for producing, selling and supporting StoryBOX. The market for StoryBOX primarily consists of elementary schools, however preschool education (nursery school), cultural institutions like science museums (e.g. Nemo) and festivals (e.g. Cinekid) may benefit as well. Results of StoryBOX will be widely disseminated.
Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU)