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[P6] Étui

This EU-funded project developed an educational toy to support children's learning as part of the Experimental Schools section of the i3 network (Intelligent Information Interfaces). The device stimulated meta-level learning awareness, problem solving, creativity and collaboration through the activities it was designed to enable.
When Aug 31, 1998 to
Jul 27, 2000
Where Europe

éTui logo

Aim: To research & develop a toy for use by early learners to encourage learning about learning.
Reflection: In the éTui project, I proposed the ideas of meta-level learning that the toy would foster based on more general ideas of identity, reflective activity and exploratory learning.
Reflection: The guided experiments I carried out in the primary classroom helped me understand the profound effect of participant research and the depth of thinking that an exploration of the unknown can promote.
Contribution: I acted as co-developer of the project's ideas about meta-level learning, mentor to the project leader and other personnel, researcher in classrooms and disseminator of the progress and outcomes. My part: 20% (with Andy Simpson, Dai Griffiths, Stephen Heppell and Kris Popat)
Originality, impact and importance: The project was unique for its design of a mysterious toy which did not represent existing creatures in order stimulate wonder, inquiry and imagination. As part of the i3 research network, it was shared widely to the European research community and generated much debate about early years learning with technology.
Evidence: Étui was disseminated at the conferences in 2000 and 2001 of the EU-funded Future and Emerging Technologies i3 network and at an invited workshop titled Children as Participant Designers at FutureLab's inaugural conference Contagious Creativity in June 2002.

This project summary is taken from the original bid:

Project Summary

Objectives

The éTui will be a prototype electronic device for young learners. The learning activities which the device should stimulate are: problem solving, collaboration, creativity and meta level learning awareness. The design objectives of the device to support these are: programming through direct manipulation and iconic program representation; real-time synchronisation between one éTui and another; multi-sensory capacity ( perhaps including motion, sound and vision ) and response based artificial learning.

Results

The project will result in the following:

  • A prototype electronic learning toy - the éTui.
  • Information from the design stages and field trials.
  • A set of specifications linked to learning outcomes.
  • Software resources designed for the project including operational, visual, programming and interactive elements.
  • A specification for further development based on an evaluation of the project.

Approach

The project will include: four testing stages, software development, hardware development and dissemination. The testing stages will have two distinct research populations: the four main field research sites and an online community of research reference sites. The four stages of testing will be for the conceptual visual designs, the conceptual physical designs, the conceptual software design and the final prototype. Ultralab will coordinate the project, create the research infrastructure and undertake work in conceptual software design and conceptual hardware design, the last two in conjunction with Apple. Conceptual visual and physical designs will be managed by Pompeu Fabra.

Outcomes and Impact

We expect the éTui to engender a new philosophy for creating toys for young learners, one which will make the process of fully exploring such a device intuitive and flexible. The information gathered from the field testing stages should create further debate in this area and also inform design goals for further prototypes. This information linked with the specifications and the software resource should make a firm foundation for further work in iteratively testing and designing the éTui.

Dissemination

Information about the project and project results will be communicated through a variety of channels. These channels will include the world wide web, popular television or printed media and publication. There will be a site dedicated to the project on the world wide web which will describe results and show the current stage of the project. Specific outcomes may be prepared for television broadcast and/or publication.

Kids with éTui

(Words: 692 )

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Lewis Carroll describes a fictional map that had:

"the scale of a mile to the mile."

A character notes some practical difficulties with such a map and states that:

"we now use the country itself, as its own map, and I assure you it does nearly as well."
— Sylvie and Bruno Concluded, Lewis Carroll, 1893

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The dissertation and portfolio for Richard Millwood's PhD by Retrospective Practice titled 'The Design Of Learner-centred, Technology-enhanced Education'. education & The dissertation and portfolio for Richard Millwood's PhD by Retrospective Practice titled 'The Design Of Learner-centred, Technology-enhanced Education'. employment

The dissertation and portfolio for Richard Millwood's PhD by Retrospective Practice titled 'The Design Of Learner-centred, Technology-enhanced Education'. project

The dissertation and portfolio for Richard Millwood's PhD by Retrospective Practice titled 'The Design Of Learner-centred, Technology-enhanced Education'. professional

The dissertation and portfolio for Richard Millwood's PhD by Retrospective Practice titled 'The Design Of Learner-centred, Technology-enhanced Education'. conference

The dissertation and portfolio for Richard Millwood's PhD by Retrospective Practice titled 'The Design Of Learner-centred, Technology-enhanced Education'. publication

The dissertation and portfolio for Richard Millwood's PhD by Retrospective Practice titled 'The Design Of Learner-centred, Technology-enhanced Education'. teaching

The dissertation and portfolio for Richard Millwood's PhD by Retrospective Practice titled 'The Design Of Learner-centred, Technology-enhanced Education'.selected for the PhD