Educational interactivity (July-September 2016)

Holiday digital activities

Historic Royal Palaces has again (see the Kensington Palace game for 2015) produced interactive games to encourage children to discover history in visits to historical places, this time at Hampton Court. In Digital Missions, the visitors explore history with an introductory  film and an app in which they engage in role-playing, in an interactive adventure where they ‘meet characters from history, explore all around [them], do challenges ‘, solving problems  such as ‘The Ambassador’s Secret Assignment’ (a mission for the Venetian ambassador at the court of Henry VIII) and ‘The Architect’s Design Dilemma’ (for Vanbrugh). Interactivity and digital skills combine with other skills, such as design.


Teaching with technology and teaching technology

Digitally-supported teaching

The University of Oxford, through its OxTalent scheme, has given awards to several projects in the field of digitally-supported teaching.

One concerns the use of the Oxford learning management system to support teaching ; it has been awarded to the project on teaching English Language in a distance online course, on account of its use of the most advanced interactive tool  in LMS, the ‘Lesson’ integrating tasks and materials in one pathway, including recordings and multimedia resources, as the argument mentions. The ‘lesson’ tool, usually the most succesful online tool with students, is structured by the teachers to present the material of the course as an exploration with a choice of options and questions at every stage.

The second category of awards concerns digital initiatives, ‘Innovative Teaching with Technology ‘. One of those having received the award is a cours on mathematics for physicists and engineers. Is is made up of videos in which, as we hear the course, we see the lists of key notions, such as ‘vector’,  and the corresponding diagrams appear on the screen; each section is followed by quizzes.

In the third category ‘Student IT Innovation’, the award went to a student who had created an app on anatomy, each module explaining anatomical structures with increasing complexity, and followed by quizzes such as ‘matching questions’ to revise the topic.


Teaching IT

The current rise of robotics has led two Edinburgh universities to set up a joint doctoral programme, the University of Edinburgh, traditionally focused on theoretical studies, and Heriot-Watt University, traditionally oriented towards applied technology – showing how advances in science redraw borderlines between aereas of study and need complementary fields of expertise .


In the same area, a page on robotics on the website of the San Francisco EXploratorium can be found in the Photography section –  Photography : Robots Take Pictures Too.