David Merrill says I can be his research bitch (Yay!)

One of my upcoming assessments is to choose a technology (inc. PowerPoint, Excel, Animation tools or web development) to create a small computer-based learning tool. The idea is that based on your level of experience with things geeky, you can create a self-directed project that is interesting but achievable.

Feeling that I have done quite enough PowerPoint and Excel in the last fifteen years to give me a pretty good handle on them, I have decided to ask the course coordinator if I can do something a little different. My first choice would be to do some original research/thinking into how Siftables could be integrated into the classroom. I thought it would be wise to see if any similar work had been done, and if the people actually working on the technology (now being commercialised within a venture called Sifteo) thought it would be worthwhile.

Within 24 hours, David Merrill actually wrote back to me! Now all I need to do is convince my course coordinator that it is a worthwhile endeavour…

Hi Brett,

Thanks for getting in touch. We have done some investigations in the past about the types of educational material that Siftables would support best — but not anything as comprehensive as a full analysis / report. If you're interested to dig into that, feel free to proceed — we'd be happy to learn the results! Mapping the connections to curriculum, and storyboards about the types of interactions that would support the material, would be particularly interesting.


 -David M.

On Tue, Mar 2, 2010 at 4:03 AM, Brett Rolfe <Brett@nakedcomms.com.au> wrote:

Hi Sifteo team,

After following the groundswell of interest in the Siftables project triggered by your TED talk I was very excited to hear you guys have put together a commercialisation venture – awesome stuff!

I am currently a postgraduate student in Australia studying teaching (focusing on the first few years of schooling) – unsurprisingly I am very interested in the application of Siftables (and similar technologies) as flexible interactive learning tools. I presume you have a lot of interest at the moment, and are no doubt receiving many (and varied) requests, inquiries and suggestions!

What I am curious to know is whether you (or anyone you have been in touch with) has reviewed the relevant literature on learning/schooling and written an overview of the ways that Siftables could potentially be deployed into classrooms given current best practice thinking? As I see it, this could be on an 'overall potential' level, or on a more detailed 'where is it appropriate, and what applications would be relevant' level.

This is an area I would be very interested in exploring over the next few months as part of my course if you feel it is a productive field of investigation. If not (for whatever reason), I would be very interested to hear any other areas you feel would benefit from some form of academic review or analysis with respect to school use of this technology.



Brett Rolfe

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