# Making the green screen color exercise more relevant to children

After hearing Dor’s talk last Friday, I have some suggestions for making the green screen color exercise more relevant to children.

Dor mentioned that the hands of the children often subconsciously “learned” the proportion concept before their brains could. Furthermore, children had difficulty explaining the green screen phenomenon using height, length and distance between their hands. I wonder if this is due to the abstract nature of the exercise. Incorporating proportion examples from real life may solve these issues.

We can use the sensors to simulate real-life tasks such as rowing a boat with oars. As the child interacts with the sensors, he’ll learn that the higher he lifts the sensor, the faster the boat travels. He will also notice that the difference in height between the two sensors actually determines the direction of the boat. The concept of speed and angles in relation to proportion can also be demonstrated. One of the tasks can be for children to figure out the proportion needed to reach the island marked with an “X”. To make the exercise more compelling, it can be done in first person view. From this exercise, the child will learn the actual implication and practical application of mathematical proportions.

Some of the Wii games like Wii Sports are already simulating real life activities. Take archery for example, one can demonstrate that the amount of bowstring pulled is proportional to the distance traveled by the arrow. By adding a grid pattern or a number line for visual aid, one can create learning exercises that are based on these game concepts. Children learn concepts much quicker when they can see the relevance in the learning.

abrador7 years agohyperboy,

Thank you very much for taking the time to elaborate on what you had already told me last week after the seminar. (You’re a fine artist, too!)

Sure, I can see how the generic idea of the “MIT” could be embodied in more realistic situations. What I always worry about (and this was my worry with the CGTV Jasper Project) is finding an optimal balance between the richness of the situation and the generativity of the mathematical representations. My guiding hunch has been that when kids are engaged in a task, it is as real as they need it to be — it is “situated” (see also my response to Coram last week; there’s a link there to a video in which Allan Collins reacts to my thesis). What I am trying to do is design image schema. It is true that from a set of Wii simulations one could ultimately build a ‘model for’ proportion. Yet the passage from the situation to the common artifact (the ratio table should be a good choice) can be very challenging in terms of the design. Namely, you’d need to create clear passage from the embodied to the inscribed http://l3dswiki.cs.colorado.edu:3232/CreativeIT/247 ).

Ultimately, my question might be: Could we create a more realistically situated design in which students will struggle between ‘same difference’ and ‘different differences’ as they are doing in the current MIT build? That is, hyperboy, can we enrich the scenario without sacrificing the clarity, focus, elegance, and generativity of the ‘green’ task?

Thanks again — this is very productive conversation for me.

-Dor.

PS Here’s a link to an interactive paper discussing a more ‘realistic’ problem involving, mind you, an island! The technology is simpler, but I think it is ultimately effective http://educationaldesigner.org/ed/volume1/issue3/article10/