This class is focused on resolving issues related to “Learning in the Wild”, this proposal addresses that theme head-on. Through evolution humans have developed an incredible ability to memorize locations and paths. By tying pieces of information to locations people can hence memorize all kinds of information, this is the basis of the incredibly powerful memorization technique known as a ‘mind palace’. The project I am proposing utilizes this human ability to teach and reinforce information.
Background and Idea
In the summer of 2016 Pokemon Go took over the world, it was the first truly successful location based game. For an example of what Pokemon Go looks like, see figure 1 below. With this project I am hoping to bring that concept to the field of education. The concept is simple, players download an application to their smartphone and while running this application users will see their location on a map and as they walk around the world they can stumble upon information. When a user stumbles upon a piece of information he or she can choose to either read the information (one paragraph or so) or listen to a narrator read it out to them. The user will then be forced to take a photo of the location where the information was found, this will help develop a specific memory related to the information that they discovered.
The information users can discover will however not be tied to the location itself (this is to ensure that people can enjoy walking around the same area multiple times). One possible future feature however is to allow fixed information in certain locations (such as popular tourist spots) or to allow teachers or other educators to develop specific ‘learning-trails’ that their students can follow.
Some locations in the world will be permanently considered ‘quiz houses’. When visiting a ‘quiz house’ you will be asked questions on information you have previously discovered. You will then be given a score based on how well you answered those questions, this score will then be compared to others who have visited that ‘quiz house’.
Figure 1. “Pokemon Go Photo.” Pokemon Go Hub, 8 July 2017, pokemongohub.net/post/guide/tips-prevent-phone-overheating-playing-pokemon-go/.
An important component of this application will be the social aspect that it will provide. If you are walking around with friends you can register in the app that you are walking around as a group and this will unlock special pieces of information. Furthermore, when visiting a ‘quiz house’ together with a group of friends you will all see the same questions on your devices, and these questions will be based on information that any person in your group had previously been given. This therefore requires communication and collaboration.
Improvements from Today
This application would improve on current learning techniques utilized in formal learning environments in several ways. Firstly, by allowing users to discover information as they walk around, this will help them learn and remember information as humans are incredibly skilled at memorizing locations and information associated with them. This application will also benefit from the fact that people can learn with the friends and social interactions can be another way in which information is retained more effectively. However, there are some positive aspects of learning in formal learning environments that I would like to retain in my application. For example, the information will be presented either through text or aurally, both proven ways to absorb information. The use of quizzes is another way in which current learning techniques are being used in this application.