eMapps.com: Motivating Active Participation of Primary Schoolchildren in Digital Online Technologies for Creative Opportunities through Multimedia
eMapps.com explored how games and mobile technologies can be used to provide new and enriching experience for children in school and beyond.
The main objectives of eMapps.com were:
- to build communities of creative children in the countries which joined the EU in 2004;
- to build a community of teachers to share and exchange their experience in using mobile devices and games in education;
- to develop adaptable interactive games to help integrate the use of ICT and mobile devices in school curricula;
- to develop platform to create and share content to be used for playing eMapps.com games;
- to promote the eMapps concept among education policy makers at national and regional level in the participating countries.
The project partners have developed and validated interactive tools, primarily educational games, for mobile devices, The games can be adapted by any teacher using pre-set curriculum scenarios.
The eMapps.com games use a tailor-made platform that runs on mobile phones, PDAs or tablets and includes game control mechanisms, forums, chats and map-based local scenarios, blogs, podcasts and videocasts.
The games were implemented and validated in 15 schools in the project partner countries. The pilot schools were directly involved in the development: they helped in defining the learning objectives, the type of game (e.g. competitive, collaborative, role play, simulation), assessment, feedback and levels of difficulty. The teachers involved in the implementation also received extensive support, including initial training at summer schools.
The eMapps platform is not available at the moment; contact the project coordinator for information on how to obtain the eMapps games.
Country: Belgium, Czech Republic, Spain, United Kingdom
Coordinator: Cross Czech a.s, Prague, Czech republic, http://crossczech.cz
Target groups: parents, primary school students, secondary school students, teachers, vocational school students
Topic: Information technology, Technology, Education, Other
Start year: 2005
End year: 2008
Contact person: Romana Krizova, Cross Czech a.s., romana.krizova (at) crossczech.cz
As one of the results, the project produced a set of recommendations for policy makers on how to build on the knowledge and experience gained during the eMapps project. They emerged from the findings of the project evaluation report, observations in the field and extensive interviews with project participants. The key recommended actions are as follows:
- to support and endorse pedagogies and a curriculum that allows for active learning and project-based learning, as exemplified in eMapps.com;
- to explore how assessment systems can better take into account individual and social skills and knowledge developed through games-based learning;
- to communicate the results of the project to school leaders and enable them to act on them;
- to remove barriers to adopting ICT in education;
- to communicate the results of the project to teachers and support them in taking up game-based learning in their school;
- to support teachers' professional development;
- to monitor developments and best practice in mobile and game-based learning in other countries;
- to ensure that schools have the necessary equipment and basic infrastructure for innovative learning;
- to consider adapting and translating some of the successful eMapps.com games that are not country specific;
- to explore further the ‘school without walls' concept (out-of-school activities, summer hikes and camps, cultural days, ‘school in nature' days, research camps) and use game-based learning to enrich it.
The eMapps games operate in a similar way to other computer games. The game takes place in a territory pre-determined by the game designers. It can be a ‘real' territory where the players actually go out into the local environment or a virtual one, where all actions take place within a computer simulation.
The game is played by teams of children. Each team has a ‘team manager' working at a PC at ‘control base', with players out in the field using handheld devices. The teacher adopts the role of ‘game controller', remaining at the home base along with team managers.
The equipment required includes a GPS receiver and a PDA/Smartphone with wireless internet connection.