Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
The contact kids have with computers today
is a fascinating experience, as anyone can easily
attest by simply speaking to any of those children,
questioning them about their computer usage ex-
periences. The computer represents the possibility
of occupying their time with activities that allow
them to learn about many issues. But it's also an
exploration and play space where children can
challenge the logic, feeling they possess magical
powers, and where they feel that the decisions
they take have an effective immediate impact over
the actions, thus determining the flow of events.
Vygotsky's (1978) social cognition learning
model asserts that culture is the prime determinant
of individual development. Humans are the only
species to have created culture, and every human
child develops in the context of a culture. There-
fore, a child's learning development is affected
in ways large and small by the culture-including
the culture of family environment - in which he
or she is enmeshed.
In this context, the creation of collaborative
learning groups, which bring together children
with different learning levels, can prove use-
ful. Currently, public schools have ever-larger
numbers of students per classroom, with more
diverse backgrounds. This poses some difficulty
to attending every student's individual needs. One
possible solution lies in methods employed by the
students themselves, i.e. students learn and teach
each other, collaboratively. This kind of learning,
called peer-mediated instruction (Campbell et al.,
1991), is an alternative classroom arrangement
in which students take an instructional role with
classmates or other students. Many approaches
have been developed in which students work in
pairs or small cooperative learning groups. To be
most effective, students must be taught roles in
the instructional episode; to be systematic, elicit
responses, and provide feedback. Research sup-
ports the use of these approaches as alternative
practice activities, however, does not condone the
use of peers for providing instruction in “new”
instructional content.
Gardner (1983) centered his investigations on
multiple intelligences and the implication they
have on educational practices. Garner suggested
the IQ-tests notion of intelligence is too limited
and proposed eight different kinds of intelligence
(Gardner, 1983). The important issue, according
to Gardner, is not the number of different intel-
ligences we have, but the actual development
of all of them, according to our skills. Despite
being anatomically separated from each other,
Gardner declares the several intelligences rarely
work independently. They are competitors but
complement each other. We all possess the same
intelligences but not in the same way or same
proportions (Gardner, 1983).
Scholar learning requires the student to deeply
understand the subjects. Gardner advocates one
of the best ways to accomplish this deep under-
standing is to approach the same subject through
different entry points (music, language, spatial,
etc.). Therefore, we should use an approach that
covers not only the specific field of the subject at
matter, but also other fields. This multidisciplinary
approach Gardner recommends to schools is a
better way to transfer knowledge.
If the child doesn't understand through the
intelligence we elected to inform her, then the
teacher can consider there are other different
intelligences to explore. Based on this approach,
our research that employs augmented reality and
a physical user interface, allows a deeper under-
standing of the learning experience, using one of
those multiple entry points.
There are several user-centered design approaches
to designing interactive systems, such as the
ones described in, e.g. (Dix et al., 2004). When
it comes to game design, however, we verify that
the process is largely driven by actual practice.
Academic researchers have mainly focused on
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