Monday, March 31, 2014

Serendipity, MOOCs and Gamification

By Ramón Talavera-Franco
Photo by Artsproject
In a way, a baby girl sited in front of me represented both characters of the short film Sight that I was watching for my gamification MOOC assignment while having a cup of coffee in a restaurant. Sight, the short sci-fi film by May-raz and Daniel Lazo depicts a futuristic world where people have retinal implants that allow them to connect to virtual realities, play games, obtain digital information about other people’s lives, send chat messages, pay bills, and receive points for every success activity. Why am I comparing this baby girl with the characters of the film? Because she belongs to the generation who started using technology at a very early age, and who certainly will contribute to change the world similarly to Sight. The way May-raz and Daniel Lazo predicted the future in their short film, could be compared to how George Orwell predicted our present in 1984.
The baby girl I’m referring to is not two years old yet, but she is already an expert in the use of ipads. While I was watching the movie, she arrived with her mom and sit near me. I could have a perfect view of the girl while she activated her pink ipad. She moved her two index fingers nimbly around the screen deciding what apps to activate. I observed that she knew how to select options such as colors to paint a princess hair or decorate her dress. She also knew how to increase or decrease the princess image, how to move it from side to side, how to rotate it and how to get back to the main screen to chose another app when she got board of the princess.

During the half hour that mom and daughter were at the restaurant, the baby girl was totally immersed playing with the apps; smiling every time the game rewarded her performance. She probably tried ten different apps: games, videos, painting gadgets, music, photos, etc. She spent no more than two minutes in each one, and constantly went back to her favorites after investigating new apps.

I couldn’t resist but having a conversation with the baby girl’s mom. She told me that she introduced the ipad functionality to her daughter a few months ago but that 70% of what she knows she has investigated it by herself. Now, all what the mom has to do is to include new apps to the ipad, introduce the new game to her daughter and let her explore it. We chat about how technology is changing children’s behavior and learning approaches. She agreed that her daughter’s view of the world would be very different than ours and showed curiosity about how the technology would dictate her daughter’s life.

Have you heard about the Google glasses?––She asked me.

Yes––I nodded with excitement. I wanted to talk about Sight with her.

Well––she said––I think that my daughter will wear these kind of glasses or something similar to relate with the real world in the near future. I don’t think that she will see the world the same way we see it.

Her phone rang so I couldn’t share my opinion.When she finished her conversation, she smiled goodbye.

–Library time––she said––I need that my daughter relates with real books, too.

Mom and baby girl waved goodbye and I decided not to spoil this serendipitous moment talking about a short film in which her daughter probably is already the main character.

No comments:

Post a Comment