Mathematical Playful Learning Environments(MAPLE)


The goal of the MAPLE research is to realize a significant paradigm shift in the way in which technology enhanced learning is conceived and implemented. Rather than focus on a distinct set of skills within a subject domain as a quantifiable outcome, this highly interactive, explorative project is concerned with empowering children to find their own particular skills and interests through the agency gained from experimenting with concrete concepts in one area and extending them into other less predictable concepts in other areas. This approach is all the more significant in its ambition to design for, and with, young children with Asperger Syndrome and their typically developing peers. 

The proposal is cohered around a mathematical game as the starting point for meaningful social interaction. As such, the game will provide a clear structure to assist children in developing cognitive reasoning, strategic thinking, estimation, discovery and pattern finding, through a playful interface. As children begin to recognise their ability by progressing through the game story, the levels of interaction will be enhanced through features that introduce role-play and agency. The motivating, immersive environment of the virtual game world, will invite children to collaborate and maintain interaction with virtual agents as well as each other and to explore aspects of their learning that might otherwise be difficult to socially mediate. 

Our collective vision of an innovative state-of-the art immersive game world will achieved through a participatory design methodology that takes both an ethical and pragmatic perspective on user involvement. Adopting an iterative and inclusive work ethos is testimony to our aspiration to reach beyond the acquisition of a discrete set of skills, to reveal new possibilities for meaningful forms of communication motivated through technologies that are aesthetically pleasing, irresistibly playful as well as socially and culturally desirable.

Effective start/end date19/05/2010 → …


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