I have missed the class at the beginning a little bit this time, so I didn’t get to know much about the blog posting process, still a little confused about that; but I will ask and learn about it more next week.
After that, most of the class showed their process of projects to us, that was really interesting although many of them are still the very first version. I’ve seen Andrew’s play costume, which maybe shows his main focus will be about plastics. I’ve also have a glance of Griffin’s work on our hydrangea project, which is aesthetic. I have checked out the documentation in the google shared folder, I think both of them worked out great as first prototype. Kristina has also prepared a lot to show in the LCCS, however, because I have an important presentation in my next class, I could not go to LCCS to see and participate in that this week, and could not get a clear idea about how that only through the documentation.
For myself, I will keep working on the controller and hopefully will get it done by monday, I still want to keep it as physical as possible. I have also received an email from Anezka and Tammy about design logos for the projects, I think I can work well with that, just need to hear more about the other two projects.
These notes are being written several days after we went to LCCS. I can only speak from my own point of view as faculty in the class. One thing that I discovered is that no one in the class reads these Canvas Notes. There is so much information coming at students that they have no time to read anything that comes from school. Many students also work so their attention is very split and they are not able to process much beyond the virtual connections that are absolutely critical in their daily lives. It helps for me to write this into notes so that I can remember that probably the most successful way for students to participate outside of class is to set aside communication time in class. Observations should probably be written IN CLASS.
We started the class in New York out with a brief introduction to post project images on the blog. I think that the blog is not easy to navigate yet and we should probably be dividing the posts into projects by week. This would make the final archiving of the project more manageable. We took the journey from Parsons to LCCS which is always a long adventure. We had a lot of equipment and props with us so we jammed it into a taxi and the others walked the mile to the school. We have been doing this all semester and sometimes I wish that we could just have the middle school attend Parsons. That would be so much easier!
When we got to our LCCS classroom, we divided everyone up in the day school. Two of the students Matt and Xavier went with Kristiana and Griffin to set up the Hydrangea projection and the rest stayed in class to figure out Trash Soccer. I had an idea about this game that may bring home the message that we are conveying to our public participants. I thought that it might be good to designate the out of bounds sides as the Storm Drain and the area beyond the goal, the Ocean. I wrote up my ideas for the game and shared it with the people who are going to be doing Trash Soccer on Earth Day.
I also spent quite a bit of time following Andres around. You can see my videos in the March 27th video folder. I think that we need to curtail and cut the action quite a bit and perhaps also have a play going on that kids can be in after they have seen the video. The performances should be limited to 15 minutes.
Griffin and Kristiana created a hydrangea forest and we will see how far we can drive it over the next two weeks as LCCS takes another holiday this coming week.
This week I was able to begin filming and really get a feel for the camera. I was able to get some footage of Anezka teaching, which I think I will use in the class. I was also able to get a lot of footage of the class processing with Stephanie which I think will come in handy with relaying the idea of what Design Thinking is and also the brainstorming session of the class. Overall, it was good. Although, looking back over my footage, some of it came across as grainy and I would like to avoid that in the future. I will need to reshoot Christiana explaining her and Griffith’s project.
In this week’s class I have become more clear about our projects and the purpose of our projects. We have a short but intensive online meeting with Stephanie from baykeeper, we get to know more about their previous projects and become more clear about which part of the polluting progress she and her organization is more focused to. Which is the stop using and throwing plastic products part, instead of the collecting and recycle plastic part. This is very different from what I have thought before. And I think our projects should slightly lean on this point.
Also, according to Anezka’s observation in LCCS, the children there are really interested in the trash soccer idea. Which is also my interest, so I think I’m going to pay more attention on this project, and also communicate with the children in LCCS and see what we can do to refine the rules and the materials will be used in this project. Btw, I do have played with MadMapper for a couple of times, so I think I might be able to help operate the projectors.
Class this week was interesting. We went over what progress we have had on our prototypes. Chris and I agreed that we wanted to do some type of physical game for either Wayne the Wave or whatever idea Wayne turns into with collaborations with LCCS. We then spoke with the woman from the BayKeepers (I apologize I forgot her name). She was extremely informative about the BayKeepers motivations and three pronged approach to cleaning the Hudson. We individually spoke to her about our projects. She liked Chris’s idea about Wayne the wave, approaching pollution from the water’s point of view, as well as personifying water. She did give us feedback on making a more concrete game, and the idea of using twister as a game. I think once we meet next week and really solidify on our group ideas, I would love to create a physical game for Earth Day. I think a game that the kids can play would not only be educational, but healthy and add a great break from other activities that may be very educational and overload their brains/attention spans. Mary Claire, Christiana and I spoke briefly about organizing the event, and how that would go about. We talked about how to make sure that the kids do not become over academically stimulated, and that the come away with an actual educational moment from Earth Day. After, Tammy asked us to narrow down our thesis for each project. This was difficult to do because of how broad some of our topics are, and what motives we have behind them. I also left class a bit discouraged, I wanted to stay longer for the LCCS conference call, but had to get to class. I also was left a bit confused about what collaboration we need to do in order to mold our own projects with the LCCS students. I feel a bit like there is a disconnect between what both classes are doing, our time frames, and how much work we actually need to get done in a relatively short amount of time.
My time was mostly spent running to LCCS and helping Stephanie and Mike manage the 21st Century (in day school) and After School classes. We noted that the 21st Century class is not motivated to make digital games. We also noted that LCCS could be a great site for activation of a controlled group. If we were able to spend this next month collecting and recycling the trash at LCCS, we might notice people’s addiction to plastic containers, plastic spoons and forks. We could present these findings at Earth Day (it’s an idea that would fit well with Angela’s skill as an Anthropologist! And Mary Claire’s budding skills as a videographer). I am also very aware that we need to form teams and that this has been difficult in light of the asymmetrical ideation for projects. When Stephanie and I asked the day school kids what they wanted to commit to for their earth day project, they all voted for Trash Soccer. However, when I asked them what the rules of such a game would be and where we could get a ball made of trash that wouldn’t fall apart on the field, they were a bit stymied. Mr. Diamond suggested starting with a container in which we could compact trash. I asked them to be creative about the trash soccer game rules. Why play it by the same rules we already know? We could have three or four goals? We could make it about who brings in the biggest and most creative ball of trash from one easily recyclable source(would have to be a school competition).
The other projects that got a few hands in the day school were the under-water city and the hydrangea project. The under-water city could be something that Stephanie might tackle with her A-frame VR (Google Cardboard) group.
The After School kids were interested in a wider range of projects. Stephanie is putting notes together of who is who on each themed team. Projects such as Wayne the Wave, and Hydrangea were well-liked. Just so that you all know, we envision the Hydrangea project as a 360 dome projection where the interaction comes from an I-pad (or physical computing controller) and the slider can take you through a time-line to see a beautiful forest of hydrangeas change into a dark and dim landscape of rotting plants. This is a very sketchy idea right now and I asked Esmee and Angelina to storyboard it. We don’t have Parsons involved with this project yet. We need some expertise about dome projection (Kristina/Ivey?) In the After School class, a project by Xavier called John the Vegan (a zombie apocalypse kind of narrative) can be played in the meadow or Xavier was dreaming of making it a video game. (Parsons students?)
Last week’s trip to LCCS is really interesting and enlightening. It has been a time since my last time visit the school, so everything happening there become refreshing again to me. The teenagers there do seem like they have learnt more about their water system and thought more about their relation to water. Their ideas are really creative and related to their own life. I really want to work on these fascinating ideas, but still have not think a way to make them spend their short class on these project and feel more agency on these project.
It was really great to work with the students this week. I was very blown away by how developed and possible some ideas were that the students came up with. After having missed class the week prior, it was nice to see our class was on the same wavelength (pun intended) in developing choose your own adventure games. I thought it was interesting that working with the students seemed to show the kids wanted even more interaction and active participation. One concept that I was particularly drawn to was the use of the dome as generating an environment that could be controlled by players to produce a happy and healthy environment or a toxic one. I’m excited this week to maybe take a few of the ideas this week and apply them to games that maybe are not as technological. I also love the idea put forth about a scavenger hunt. Maybe there is a way to develop that into an app or simply a game to be used at the day of the event.
“I wonder what happens when you don’t get a flu shot…” It’s not worth it guys, GET YOUR FLU SHOT!!! This week and the week before were prototype weeks for the scenario Griffin and I came up with (*insert images*). I want to continue making the story an interesting learning experience. I also spent some time in museums and observed how they convey complex information in simple ways (*insert images*).
I went into this week with my project with Chris. I think we were both pretty happy with it, but would be open to changing it. We presented it to the class, of Wayne the Wave, and of his family. His journey surrounds traveling from each family members home, trying to find a new place to live, and finding pollution in each. In the end, Wayne finds that working together with his family and with the community around him he can make a difference in solving pollution and plastic build up in the ocean. I was on Zoom for the LCCS meet up, but unfortunately had mechanical difficulties logging into the group. I look forward to hearing updates from the rest of the class.