DS, PSP And Wii In UK Classrooms

Every British Schoolkid Gets Free Personal Learning Space On PSP And DS

Posted by Staff
DS, PSP And Wii In UK Classrooms
RedHalo, a new UK company, is offering every school child in the UK a ?free, ultra-secure, Personal Learning Space? that they can use for schoolwork and online, collaborative educational projects on handheld and home games consoles.

Cool! Kids finally get to use their DS and PSPs in the classroom without getting told off by angry teachers. SPOnG's man on the ground at this week's Handheld Learning Conference in London was sufficiently impressed this morning to give us a call and rave a bit about the possibilities of this new service.

Basically, any internet capable device can be used with RedHalo, from smartphones to gaming devices like Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS and Sony PSP, to iPhones, PDAs and UMPCs.

SPOnG has just been speaking with RedHalo?s Neil Critchell, Technical Director on this potentially groundbreaking educational project, which could well see schoolkids across the UK using their PSPs, DSs and Wiis to work on collaborative school projects with their schoolmates and teachers.

How is the service offered different to standard social networking sites such as Facebook, SPOnG wondered?

?Well this is a more controlled ?walled garden? type of educational environment, monitored by the teacher,? Critchell told us.

?It?s just a way of schoolkids working collaboratively together with their class and their teacher, using more different devices including games consoles, which as you know are in the hands of a lot of kids!? he added.

They are indeed! So basically, teachers and educators can distribute materials to the kids via RedHalo learning spaces and review those they have access to.

The basic, free RedHalo Platform Edition can be upgraded to the Pro Edition for a small annual fee which increases the size of the Personal Learning Space from 1Gb to 5Gb, provides additional security features and a bundle of software for either Windows Mobile, XP or Vista-based devices.

Also launched is RedActivity, a complete environment for learners to create entire projects with a variety of digital media including websites, photos, videos, text, spreadsheets, thought maps and audio recordings. RedActivity takes all these elements and builds a simple webpage that creates a visual map of the project and how the elements relate to each other. By holding everything in a container RedActivity ensures that none of the project elements get lost and a reviewer no longer needs to hunt for computer files.

Tim Chaney, former boss of Virgin Interactive, and Director at RedHalo Ltd, says of the project: ?We are pleased to be at the leading edge of the learning while mobile movement and establish a standard that will help learners and educators, as well as publishers and developers who will build upon our platform. Our mission is to make learning personal and universally accessible; this announcement takes us a step closer.?

SPOnG has signed up for a trial of RedHalo and we'll be bringing you more news and the thoughts of our pet teacher, Stuart, in due course. For more on RedHalo check the website now.
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Comments

Daemon 11 Oct 2007 13:39
1/5
All we need now is teachers that give enough of a crap to use the service.
zoydwheeler 11 Oct 2007 13:52
2/5
Well if it genuinely works and makes their jobs easier - ie gets their kids more interested in schoolwork and collaborative homework projects - then it should catch on.

Although the idea of the teacher being able to monitor 'collaborative homework projects' while the kids are on their Wiis or DSs or PSPs outside of school... just makes my heart drop a little. They should be ENJOYING THEMSELVES!
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Joji 12 Oct 2007 09:19
3/5
That's nice in conception, but games devices are about games, having fun and escaping the gapping maw of education and lifes problems for a while.

I can already see it, you're at home, busting out a vital part of God of War PSP, and you are getting messages about homework, while trying to crush Medusa. Its more likely to make you more angry, just like Kratos.

I'm all for kids learning, but when you start to creep into their free time, telling them to work all the freaking time, they aren't gonna like that at all. Must they always be thinking about school? I know I would not.

Hey, teacher, leave those consoles alone.
tyrion 12 Oct 2007 12:07
4/5
Joji wrote:
That's nice in conception, but games devices are about games, having fun and escaping the gapping maw of education and lifes problems for a while.

Excellent, your next challenge is to explain the popularity of the Brain Training games.

Go!
Joji 12 Oct 2007 12:16
5/5
Tyrion, I'm not disputing Brain Training, it being a good game or its success. This news thread is not about Brain Training, is it?

If they were using Brain Training, then that's a different story altogether. I'd be safe in the knowledge, that what's pushed on kids is of a fun, good quality, without making the player feel, like they are playing one of those horrible 90's PC kids edutainment titles.

Edutainment.....remember that horrid word and steer clear. I'd be surprise if this stuff wasn't in that vein.

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