- December 11th, 2007
- Derek Robertson
- Comments: 5 Comments »Tags: Consolarium, Glow, LTS
Most, if not all the handheld games device projects that have emanated from the Consolarium have so far been based on the Nintendo DS platform. We have for some time been looking at the Sony PSP as a learning tool and after much deliberation and discussion we eventually managed to initiate a project that will explore the potential of this platform as a learning tool.
I have been in discussions with Connected Education, who are educational resellers for the Sony PSP, for some time now but I was always doubtful about exploring this device due to the fact that I was not greatly convinced of the educational application of the range of games that were available. However, I met with Mark Stimpfig and Andrew Goff from Connected a few months ago and during this meeting my attitude towards the PSP changed. I was shown a number of applications that I felt added that extra dimension ands accessibility to making the PSP a worthwhile device that could play a significant role in out classrooms. These applications allow content to be created away from the PSP but then played, shared and enjoyed via the PSP. The applications that we looked at included:
The PSP plays video, audio, images, it has a wireless browser built in and it plays games. There is also a camera that fits on to the PSP and this offers the chance of a wireless and mobile video-conferencing device. There are also applications such as GoEdit that allow you to create content on the PSP and we are looking at those too.
One local authority had expressed a real interest in looking at this device and so after a meeting with Karen Robertson and the team at East Lothian it was decided that we would host the project in P.6/7 in Campie PS in Musselburgh.
Yesterday we held our first meeting with the school staff, technical support, ICT development team and LTS representatives. Tony Giddings from Connected Education gave us a tutorial about how to use all the features within the PSP. It was great to see how easy it was to access the web via the wireless network in the school via the PSP. The screen on the device is really quite large and it was simple enough to navigate through a series of web pages using the PSP interface.
Ollie Bray and Tess Watson were very keen to see how the Glow portal would look on the PSP and when it cam through it really looked good. Compact, accessible and there! This does ask questions and opens doors for pupil accessibility to Glow as it becomes more widely available. Logging in to your work or your own personal space in Glow via a games device seems quite an exciting prospect to me. On another note we are also looking at making Glow available through the Sony PS3 but more of that later.
Today we met with the class teacher, Alicia Macfarlane and the PT Steven Woods where we initiated discussions about appropriate areas of next terms curriculum that would best suit the application of the software and their devices that we are giving the children. Their topic is WW2 and already we have developed a range of ideas that would allow the gradual integration of the PSP as something that will become integral to the teaching and learning experience within the class.
Amongst other things that are currently in the planning stages this is another interesting games based learning project from LTS that will hopefully continue to contribute to the evolving body of evidence about the successful application of handheld gaming devices in teaching and learning.