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#6951134 Nov 07, 2012 at 02:24 PM
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Has anyone tried creating an ARG to use in a school or classroom setting? This is something I've really wanted to do for a long time, but I just can't figure out how to make it work.

I have a fairly good classroom game set up. I did think about trying to hide some clues in the room this year for my more motivated student to unlock game "secrets," but the fewe ideas I came up with didn't seem very practical, and I didn't want to spend hours of time on something that the kids may or may not even notice. I know some people have used ARIS, but as I mentioned in the BYOD thread, that can be difficult if the kids don't all have mobile devices.

I found this article which had some interesting ideas about how augmented reality can benefit a classroom. However, what I would like to do is much more along the lines of an augmented reality game on the level of I Love Bees or the like. And while we're on that topic...


bees by arithenay, on Flickr

I know everyone is familiar with I Love Bees by now, so I want to ask: what made that such a successful game? What drew people in? And are there ways we can mimic those results in an educational setting?

So in my long winded way, what I'm trying to ask is, does anyone have any advice, tutorials, thoughts, or the like on how we can create augmented reality games in schools?
Don’t do work that just exists within your classroom... do work that changes the world. -Will Richardson

http://www.gamifymyclass.blogspot.ca
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#6951216 Nov 07, 2012 at 02:42 PM
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#6951134 missrithenay wrote:

Has anyone tried creating an ARG to use in a school or classroom setting? This is something I've really wanted to do for a long time, but I just can't figure out how to make it work.

So in my long winded way, what I'm trying to ask is, does anyone have any advice, tutorials, thoughts, or the like on how we can create augmented reality games in schools?



There's still a place for the old-fashioned Scavenger Hunt, particularly in the getting-to-know-you role or when introducing a new topic. Architecture or business, for example, would suit such an approach -- find various features of particular buildings around town. Google Streetview might be a way of bringing this into the classroom. In fact, scratch the "around town" -- that could be anywhere in the world.

One exercise I did in a Business class illustrates one difficulty with such an approach -- we used Streetview to look at a place we were going last week for an excursion (Pirie Street adjacent to the Canberra Times http://www.canberratimes.com.au/).

Problem was that Google hadn't updated photos for perhaps 2 years previously, so the streetscape was changed significantly.

I took it as an opportunity to talk about urban decay and renewal, but the original exercise had to go out the window!
(Being "down under" doesn't make me backward)
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#6951274 Nov 07, 2012 at 03:02 PM
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Following my theme of reporting back about what's happening on my side of the world...

The Russian Mafia have always given me the creeps. I found this article today:
http://www.zdnet.com/7-things-you-didnt-know-about-russias-cybercrime-market-7000006920/

Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks cost just $10 per hour. An hour of someone's hell costs about as much as a light lunch.

Organised crime is way ahead of enforcement. How long until organised crime gets the idea of releasing their own gamified apps? They may be doing so already! For example:

*Crowdsourcing ways to get around border controls
*Efficient distribution of contraband in a city or region
*Using kids to locate "enemy" drug dealers
*Simulated military training of enforcers

Optimistically, mobile apps might enable "citizen activism" in reporting such crimes to authorities.
(Being "down under" doesn't make me backward)
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#6951610 Nov 07, 2012 at 04:14 PM
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I too am constantly thinking of scavenger hunts when topics like this come up. Not only does it easily gamify an environment, it puts the mobile in mobile learning. The cool part about something like a scavenger hunt is that it doesn't necessarily have to be high-tech either. If you wanted to, though, you could do something like have students search for QR codes or the like.

That news about how cheap and easy it is to hire out a DDoS attack is certainly troubling. I wholeheartedly agree that enforcement needs to step up their "game," as it were. Heck, how many people even know off the top of their heads what things like "DDoS" mean? Even an awareness app might be a start. It's a small world when it comes to being online - it's not at all unrealistic for someone on your side of the world to make someone on my side's day miserable, or vise-versa, so being aware of these things is important no matter where you live.
Here's to all the educated people who don't hate games!
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#6951740 Nov 07, 2012 at 04:41 PM
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When you say ARG do you mean Alternate Reality Game or Augmened Reality Game? They're two very different (though sometimes overlapping) things.
I prefer to use the title Pervasive Games to describe location-based urban games such as I Love Bees. I've integrated pervasive games into the curriculum for many of the groups I teach. If well designed they can be fun, challenging and highly motivational experiences that provide context for learners to put what they've learned in theory into practice. Here are some pics from a recent game with a group of high-level EFL students in Portugal: http://digitaldebris.eu/spywalk-porto/
In this example the game provides the context for students to use English to dynamically engage with the world outside the classroom.
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#6951833 Nov 07, 2012 at 05:00 PM
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#6951134 missrithenay wrote:

So in my long winded way, what I'm trying to ask is, does anyone have any advice, tutorials, thoughts, or the like on how we can create augmented reality games in schools?



I have only seen a couple of augmented reality games in the college where I teach. Most of them have been along the lines of "Group up, get with someone who has a smartphone, scan the pages with the QR codes on them to follow the clues". I wasn't deeply involved in it at the time (although someone drafted me to be a librarian on video for one).

Missrithenay: Here are some cool case studies of augmented reality in school, though, at this link: http://www.onlineuniversities.com/blog/2012/09/20-coolest-augmented-reality-experiments-education-so-far/#. I don't know that "cool" equates with "excellent learning", necessarily, but they do at least give a variety of cases to look at.

Michael: As always, your posts definitely give us a lot to think about. The Russian Mob is not someone I'd want to tangle with. DDoS's for $10? Whoa....

Ludocity, the Invader game on the site you've linked to looks like it could be adapted for a few different fields of study such as anthropology, psychology, and even architecture or art history. It would depend on where the game was played, of course. Did you get a chance to put that link into the Diigo group?
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#6952138 Nov 07, 2012 at 06:07 PM
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"Ludocity, the Invader game on the site you've linked to looks like it could be adapted for a few different fields of study such as anthropology, psychology, and even architecture or art history. It would depend on where the game was played, of course. Did you get a chance to put that link into the Diigo group?
[/quote_post6951833]"

I designed both games (Spywalk and Invader) based on principles of embodied and situated learning and the need to increase the multisensory and experiential "bandwidth" of learning activities and environments, so I think you're right about the potential for reapplying the model to other fields beyond language learning.
Behavioural therapy is one option I've considered experimenting with and I'm about to speak to a group of social workers about possible applications.

From a teaching perspective my role in the games takes on an almost ethnographic turn as I become a participant observer. The games also produce a lot of media in the form of audio reports, photography and video which can later be brought back to the classroom and used for reflection, storytelling or analysis. In both games the students also geo-tag the media they have created and add it to a collaborative map using the Google maps API.

At the moment I'm also running a transmedial locative storytelling project with my students that has an element of community intervention to it. The idea being to combine learning with positive community action. I'll get around to adding it and a few other projects to the digitaldebris site ASAP.

I've just joined the forum and I'm still getting my bearings, so I haven't added anything to the Diigo group (didn't know there was one until just now).
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#6952845 Nov 07, 2012 at 10:04 PM
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I guess I mean augmented OR alternate -- either one has a place in education, I think.

I have used QR code scavenger hunts, and the kids really enjoyed them. We did it for the four pillars of democracy, a social studies concept in our year, and I created QR codes and hid them around the school. The kids had to find them and scan them, then use the resources to create a mind map of the pillars of democracy.

It was fun, but it wasn't exactly a GAME game. I would like to find ways to more fully integrate games.
Don’t do work that just exists within your classroom... do work that changes the world. -Will Richardson

http://www.gamifymyclass.blogspot.ca
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#6956524 Nov 08, 2012 at 06:22 PM
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#6952845 missrithenay wrote:

I guess I mean augmented OR alternate -- either one has a place in education, I think.

I have used QR code scavenger hunts, and the kids really enjoyed them. We did it for the four pillars of democracy, a social studies concept in our year, and I created QR codes and hid them around the school. The kids had to find them and scan them, then use the resources to create a mind map of the pillars of democracy.

It was fun, but it wasn't exactly a GAME game. I would like to find ways to more fully integrate games.



The question I'd ask there is what does hunting for and scanning QR codes have to do with the four pillars of democracy? When you divorce your game mechanic from the content and context then what's the point? Is it to disguise what would otherwise be dull material by dressing it up as a "fun game" of hide and seek? And kids just love making mind maps... This approach seems more in line with the unfortunately named gamification trend (I'm not a fan).

I think that games work best when the mechanic is intimately entwined with the content, either contextually or procedurally. You're probably familiar with Jim Gees work on games and situated learning and how this ties in to the concept of ZPD.
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#6959915 Nov 09, 2012 at 02:05 PM
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The question I'd ask there is what does hunting for and scanning QR codes have to do with the four pillars of democracy? When you divorce your game mechanic from the content and context then what's the point? Is it to disguise what would otherwise be dull material by dressing it up as a "fun game" of hide and seek? And kids just love making mind maps... This approach seems more in line with the unfortunately named gamification trend (I'm not a fan).

On the one hand, I agree that games work best when the mechanism and the end result are intimately connected. On the other hand, can you say this about any game? For example, in Monopoly: what do rolling dice and moving pieces have to do with purchasing property? What does sitting on a couch manipulating a controller have to do with any of the many topics a game addresses? On the surface, nothing. But that is the game MECHANIC, not the game itself.

In my mind, the game mechanic in a scavenger hunt is the hunt itself, so it's up to the "game designer" to see to it that the content of the game is in line with the topic. In this case, I disagree that it was "dressing up" boring material, although frankly I think even that has its place -- I would rather have to do ten math problems disguised as a game than ten math problems on a worksheet.

To clarify the activity further, the QR codes led students to a wide variety of resources, from the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (definitely not exciting reading) to a car commercial full of Americana. The point was to ask them to think about both obvious and non-obvious connections between the material and the more abstract concepts. In spite of your reservations, the kids really enjoyed wandering around the school looking for the codes, scanning them, and the resulting information (especially videos and the like). And while no, they are not huge fans of mind maps, it's still school. Under our current system, I need something I can assign a mark to and something that demonstrates they have done the background information. So was this a game in and of itself? No, more an activity that happened to use QR codes.


As it happens, I agree that games work better when fully integrated, which is why I started this thread in the first place -- to ask for people's advice and suggestions. So how would you intimately connect using QR codes in any subject?
Don’t do work that just exists within your classroom... do work that changes the world. -Will Richardson

http://www.gamifymyclass.blogspot.ca
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#6960037 Nov 09, 2012 at 02:36 PM
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Also, regarding gamification -- I think that MEANINGFUL gamification (as opposed to pointsification) has a lot of potential. I know that many disagree with that, though.
Don’t do work that just exists within your classroom... do work that changes the world. -Will Richardson

http://www.gamifymyclass.blogspot.ca
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#6960505 Nov 09, 2012 at 04:37 PM
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#6951740 Ludocity wrote:

When you say ARG do you mean Alternate Reality Game or Augmened Reality Game? They're two very different (though sometimes overlapping) things.



I've wandered a little away from mobile learning, but I return with some musings from the ancient and traditional world that hopefully add something to our discussion of the hyper-modern.

This project-based learning unit on teaching Australian Aboriginal art came up with some delightful student artworks. http://www.hightechhigh.org/unboxed/issue3/cards/2.php

I'm reminded of a few aspects of Aboriginal culture: that art, religion, folklore, law and learning are all aspects of life, and don't fit into individual silos. I can't pretend to be an expert but, for example, a story told to small children will be retold at various stages of life, "unlocking" additional secret knowledge about land, kinship, art, sex and death according to the level of initiation and maturity of the learner.

"Songlines" use traditional stories for a very practical purpose: as a kind of mnemonic device to navigate the physical landscape. Bruce Chatwin's book "Songlines" has since been much criticised but remains a good primer.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zEo279akKs


I also see the Songlines as Augmented Realities, albeit as distant from mobile devices as it is possible to travel! There is one other reason to investigate indigenous and traditional methods: "Traditional AR" has survived thousands of years in extreme environments -- Darwinian selection just has to be the ultimate passing grade.

Torres Strait Islanders (another indigenous, but distinct, Australian indigenous culture located between the mainland and Papua New Guinea) still use similar techniques in traversing the seas between their hundreds of islands.

The Polynesian cultures used similar means in travelling the thousands of kilometres among the islands of the Pacific Ocean. Fifteen years ago in the Solomon Islands, an elder described to me some of the methods: sun and stars, prevailing winds, the slap of waves on the hull, even lowering over the side to use one's testicles to "feel" the direction of those waves reflecting off the side of the boat.

These methods provide insight into how we might approach AR design. Recalling "AR coming soon to a school near you":
http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2012/04/augmented-reality-coming-soon-to-a-school-near-you/

By analogy, an AR system might:

1. Incorporate various "initiation levels" into a coherent meta-narrative. A first-week orientation AR for my old high school might incorporate the history of the school. The new student gets the basic tour, with simple emphasis on initial contacts, with emergency "help" points and introductions to faculty and peer guides, alongside original graphics of the farm from which the school grew.

2. The different levels of "initiation" could then orient later-year students to other topics: social justice (the owner's widow donating the property to the church for a school), research (the various agricultural pursuits of the farm), critical thinking (expansion of the farm/school associated with the gradual destruction of some of the last remnant forest in the region)...

3. Pragmatically, the costs associated with building an AR system could be amortised by the multiple uses for such a system. There could be a parent / visitor guide, a new staff orientation, historical tours, even a reporting system for facilities maintenance. Geometry lessons superimposed on the sporting ovals, like "big game" graphics on TV. Statistics of the owner's various racehorses.

4. Such an AR might serve an even more vital role: weaving everyone into the "story" of the community.
(Being "down under" doesn't make me backward)
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#6963017 Nov 10, 2012 at 10:02 AM
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#6960505 Michael Barry wrote:

#6951740 Ludocity wrote:

When you say ARG do you mean Alternate Reality Game or Augmened Reality Game? They're two very different (though sometimes overlapping) things.



1. Incorporate various "initiation levels" into a coherent meta-narrative. A first-week orientation AR for my old high school might incorporate the history of the school. The new student gets the basic tour, with simple emphasis on initial contacts, with emergency "help" points and introductions to faculty and peer guides, alongside original graphics of the farm from which the school grew.

2. The different levels of "initiation" could then orient later-year students to other topics: social justice (the owner's widow donating the property to the church for a school), research (the various agricultural pursuits of the farm), critical thinking (expansion of the farm/school associated with the gradual destruction of some of the last remnant forest in the region)...

3. Pragmatically, the costs associated with building an AR system could be amortised by the multiple uses for such a system. There could be a parent / visitor guide, a new staff orientation, historical tours, even a reporting system for facilities maintenance. Geometry lessons superimposed on the sporting ovals, like "big game" graphics on TV. Statistics of the owner's various racehorses.

4. Such an AR might serve an even more vital role: weaving everyone into the "story" of the community.


Well we are a long way apart geographically, but close in theory. I look back to my 'home schooling" of my granddaughter (the one you see playing Plants v Zombies) and I did "Grandma Pre-School, Kindergarden - 1/2 day, and Grandma's Summer Camp till she decided it should be Ivy's Summer Camp. Part of that was really an AR. As an anthropologist obviously we talked a lot about what people do, we had a free hour till her parents came to get her and she asked if we could do a 'walkabout" like those "people with that tube they blow through for music do" so we did ours by going up and down alleys in a small town on the way home, looking at what there was to see, what people had, and got out and looked a plants/flowers, something in the road, and now that she is back on our property at 19, we just did it yesterday! So I guess we did AR after studying "Walkabouts." I am assuming you have alleys in Australia, our modern communities really don't have them like the older parts of town or small towns, it is a small street behind houses where people would enter their garage or put out their trash. We love seeing the trash. There is a class at the University of Arizona in "Garbagology" where they study what people throw out and what that says about the culture.

In my college class (Cultural Anthropology) , I know this sounds either not too professional or truly insane, we had a drought this year, rains long time coming, and it started to rain as we were just starting class, I asked them when was the last time you danced in the rain? What about cultures who have done rituals to make the rain come? We are all adults 18-70, and we ran out to the parking lot and danced in the rain in a big circle holding hands. Got a lot of looks, did it enough to get damp and refreshed. Great class that day. Then we looked at a video on rain dances.
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#6968290 Nov 11, 2012 at 04:52 PM
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There are some really interesting ideas here -- thank you!! I will be sifting through them for a while. A lot to think about in the whole Australian connection, especially as I am in Canada in an area with a strong Blackfoot First Nations presence, and we have been encouraged to incorporate many aspects of their culture (which includes a lot of the same storytelling, etc.) into our curriculum.
Don’t do work that just exists within your classroom... do work that changes the world. -Will Richardson

http://www.gamifymyclass.blogspot.ca
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#6968798 Nov 11, 2012 at 06:55 PM
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#6968290 missrithenay wrote:

There are some really interesting ideas here -- thank you!! I will be sifting through them for a while. A lot to think about in the whole Australian connection, especially as I am in Canada in an area with a strong Blackfoot First Nations presence, and we have been encouraged to incorporate many aspects of their culture (which includes a lot of the same storytelling, etc.) into our curriculum.



Canadian, eh? I am a Toronto Maple Leafs fan and also there was a good CHL player, Clay Plume, down here and he is from Standoff, Alberta. Got to know him a little when he played for the Rocky Mountain Rage. I did some sub-contract work for the Salish-Kootani of the Blackfoot Reservation. You must be on the Canada and Montana/Idaho border? Well lets think about that AR (Augmented Reality), there would be several things you could do regarding the storytelling. (I am an anthroplogist). Here might be a plan:

1. Have them pick a favorite tale from a book or internet site.
2. Have them interview an elder, in their family or area and write down the story as it is told to them (doesn't have to be the same story.
3. Take one of those stories and move it to 2012, what would you have to change, have them re-write it.
4. Have them draw or sculpt an object that goes with one of the three stories.
5. Have a family night where their family comes and hears their favorite of the three stories (have free food, that always works)

You could even do short films of them explaining and telling the three stories and put it on a DVD or CD and send it home and put a copy of all of their stories in the tribal library (would probably fit on one CD or DVD. You could PDF the art work and written work, have a file for each student's work.

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#6968845 Nov 11, 2012 at 07:10 PM
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Yup, I'm about an hour north of the Montana border! We go down to shop quite often ;)

I like your idea, especially as I teach at a fine arts school and I have the language arts courses for grade 6. This would fit very nicely with what we do. Right now I have a student teacher running my LA program, so I can't do much with this until after Christmas, but if I try it, I will let you know how it goes!
Don’t do work that just exists within your classroom... do work that changes the world. -Will Richardson

http://www.gamifymyclass.blogspot.ca
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#6969024 Nov 11, 2012 at 08:09 PM
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Thanks for the comments!

Regarding the South Pacific, in 2005 UNESCO released a CD-ROM:
"The Canoe is the People: Indigenous Navigation in the Pacific"
http://portal.unesco.org/science/en/ev.php-URL_ID=3543&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

...5 major components (Beginnings, Canoes & Sailing, Becoming a Navigator, Navigating, Voyages & Revival). Users are taken on a voyage from the very beginnings of the Pacific Islands and their discovery and occupation, through the challenges of building a canoe and becoming a navigator, to accounts of the modern-day exploits of Pacific voyagers and voyaging societies.

A question for personal curiosity: what other indigenous methods were developed elsewhere in the world ?

While on Augmented Reality and indigenous cultures, the Arnhem Land and Kimberley Desert peoples have a style of painting known as "X-ray style":
http://www.aboriginalculture.com.au/art.shtml
One form of this style is where the internal anatomy of an animal is also shown in the painting, and hence this is called “X-ray” art. This feature appears occasionally in the very old art of both the Kakadu and Kimberley regions, but really took off in the art of the Kakadu region over the past thousand years or so.

I'm reminded of a comment made by my high school Engineering Science teacher:
"What I'd like you to do is develop a kind of X-ray vision. When you look at an object, try to "see" inside it -- think about how it was made, what you know about its internal structure, and imagine what it looks like. For metals, think about the crystalline structure; for timber, the grain of the wood; in plastics, the linked polymers. In large structures, consider where stresses would concentrate, and imagine what might be happening inside as a result."

My friends and I enjoyed that subject immensely as a result of his approach, despite the dry subject matter: materials science, vector/stress analysis, technical drawing etc.

Again, this is a kind of low-tech "augmented reality".

I recall also* Simonides of Keos (ancient Greek poet, c.500BCE) complaining of the inability of youngsters to memorise Homer's classics, as a result of the new technology of writing. Simonides is traditionally claimed to have invented the "method of loci" in which items to be remembered are associated with geographic locations. The Songlines predate this by at least a couple of thousand years -- Simonides may have refined earlier, indigenous European techniques. It is interesting that Keos is an island in the Cyclades, and traditional sea navigation may have followed similar lines to the techniques used in the South Pacific.

However I absolutely agree with Simonides that education and the morality of youth have been all downhill since the 5th century BCE.

And, because Vikings are cool:
http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~feegi/coastal.html
Lief Eriksson's navigation using the continental shelf
http://www.viking.no/e/travels/navigation/e-no-gre.htm
How the Viking settlers found their way to Iceland

Closer to the present, what I loved about the old radio plays was the vivid images that inhabited my mind while I listened. This doesn't happen anymore, no matter how much TV or Youtube I watch. Moving pictures have robbed me of that experience!

Are there similar cognitive tradeoffs when we use Augmented Reality? Could we further lose our abilities of creative visualisation? Will children in the AR age develop those abilities at all?

And if they don't realise what they've lost -- will it even matter?

* Disclaimer: the author did not know Simonides of Keos personally.
(Being "down under" doesn't make me backward)
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#6969167 Nov 11, 2012 at 08:59 PM
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Michael Barry, are you sure you did not know Simonides of Keos personally? Your knowledge is very broad.

In answer to your question about indigenous methods, I am in the USA but I teach Chicano/a Studies and live in the Southwest and thus am familiar with (yes some of them personally, they all didn't die) Aztecs and Mexicanos (from Mexico). Chicano/a is someone with strong historic ties to all of the southwest and has Spanish or other cultural/ethnic ties to the southwest. We must remember American Indians were already here and the Spanish colonized what is now New Mexico (Santa Fe) in 1693, long before the US declaration of independence.

Having said that, the MAYA Mayan and thus the Aztec too, had the concept of zero, long before anyone else did, they also had astrological observatories and domesticated corn and turkeys among other things. They did invent the wheel, but only used it on toys. NO draft animals in Mexico prior to european conquest, not horses, no cows, now mules, no water buffalo, no donkeys, no goats no sheep. Deer won't exactly pull a plow. Also the Inca had llamas as beast of burden, but I can tell you as a former llama owner, they only pack they won't pull. So their mathematics was strong, they did navigate from their shores by the stars too, they traveled from central America into what is now Arizona and New Mexico and possibly southern Colorado and Utah and California. They were excellent in architecture, pyramids rival Egypt.

Almost anywhere you look you find indigenous people did wonderful things without the use of our modern technology. Ah but I digress, it is late and damn cold, we are now at 10 degrees Fahrenheit, but we are promised 50-60 tomorrow or as we call it, "Short sleeve weather."

Canadians are even hardier than we are... eh?
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#7009250 Nov 20, 2012 at 11:21 PM
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Grasshopper:

I don't know Simonides personally, but I can give you his hashtag!

My interest in Chicano/a culture (thanks for the explanation) has been tickled by supervising a student teacher who is originally from Mexico City. That crazy Aztec game where they kick the ball through a hoop sideways on the wall, which took months to score a single point...wow.

Is G.A.M.E. the place where people from this MOOC can keep in touch?

(Being "down under" doesn't make me backward)
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