The Informatics Seminar is held on Friday at 3:00pm. This week, in lieu of our regular social hour at 4:00pm, there will be a faculty+staff+ grad-student reception/mixer — the very first in the new building, from 4-5:30pm in the 6th floor conference room of Bren Hall. Snacks and assorted (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) beverages will be served. Please join us.
Director, Teacher Education Program, MIT
“Handheld computers have incredible potential for aiding learning in a time when people must tackle complex problems and acquire information in just-in-time fashion. These portable connected computers can provide information when it is needed and where it is needed. But their design and form factor also make them an ideal platform for learning games. The fastest-growing, and soon most-prevalent, gaming platforms are not the new Playstation, Xbox or Wii, but handheld consoles and mobile devices. Rather than cramming desktop applications onto these small devices, it is important to create games that play to the strengths of this platform – portability, context sensitivity, connectivity, and ubiquity. These games can use the physical and social context of the player as integral components, creating a rich playing and learning environment. This talk explores two forms of handheld games created by the MIT Teacher Education Program – participatory simulations (e.g., our new application Palmagotchi) and augmented reality, including how they are used in schools, training, and informal learning environments.
Eric Klopfer is the Director of the MIT Teacher Education Program (http://education.mit.edu) and the Scheller Career Development Professor of Science Education and Educational Technology at MIT. The Teacher Education Program prepares MIT undergraduates to become math and science teachers. Klopfer’s research focuses on the development and use of computer games and simulations for building understanding of science and complex systems. His research explores simulations and games on desktop computers as well as handhelds. He currently runs the StarLogo ( http://education.mit.edu/starlogo) project, a desktop platform that enables students and teachers to create computer simulations of complex systems. He is also the creator of StarLogo TNG, a new platform for helping kids create 3D simulations and games using a graphical programming language. On handhelds, Klopfer’s work includes Participatory Simulations (http://education.mit.edu/pda ), which embed users inside of complex systems, and Augmented Reality simulations (http://education.mit.edu/ar), which create a hybrid virtual/real space for exploring intricate scenarios in real time. He is the co-director of The Education Arcade, which is advancing the development and use of games in K-12 education. Klopfer’s work combines the construction of new software tools with research and development of new pedagogical supports that support the use of these tools in the classroom. He is the co-author of the book, “Adventures in Modeling: Exploring Complex, Dynamic Systems with StarLogo,” and is working on a new book on handheld games and learning from MIT Press.