Wednesday, October 15, 2003

The Fourth Planet

The Fourth Planet: A Colony of the Future
This activity is interesting for a bunch of reasons. First, it's problem-based learning that uses the power of web communication to enrich the experience for everyone involved. The scenario is interesting, the look is great, and the developer has made clever use of several free applications to get people collaborating online:
  • Movable Type to set up blogs for each "colonist" when they join the simulation
  • Ikonboard for a password-protected message board
  • Gaggle for teacher-monitored e-mail
There seems to be a lot of overlap between these services, and I'd be very curious to see how students were instructed to use each one. You'd think that if the blogs were done right, you'd never need to use a message board, and Gaggle is a weird net-nanny-like e-mail service that would seem unnecessary. It's much richer and more engaging than the usability webquest my group developed this summer -- it's a great example of a collaborative simulation and learning environment that doesn't require expensive visuals, animation, game engines or even in-person role-playing. The activity is part of the excellent Discover Multiage site -- I can't find the name of the author.

No comments: