This project aims to encourage children between the ages of 8 and 13 to become interested in other cultures and languages. It should observe and utilise trends of web design for children to motivate them to learn online. The site should allow its users to learn about other countries, cultures and languages in an easily accessible, engaging and thought provoking way. It aims to reflect intensive research and employ techniques including user experience/engagement and child orientated psychology.
The web is potentially unsafe for children as inappropriate content is sometimes accessible. For those children interested in cultural issues, relevant content may be spread over multiple websites, some including a great deal of text; sometimes misinformation is disseminated, or facts coloured by writers’ perspectives/prejudices.
This site, however endeavours to introduce children in a safe way to other cultures and associated matters, to build their interest and involvement and enable interaction with others.
The issue is large and challenging: prompt research will promote early development.
Initially, the unique site must be established: nothing similar exists. It must reflect the demands of the targeted age range and engage its users: a customizable character/avatar in the form of a cartoon frog is therefore included – different cultural characterizations being obtainable through engagement with different aspects of the site. The avatar is maintained throughout the different phases of the site, appearing in games, quizzes, etc. The promotion of learning about many other countries and cultures is an essential aspect of the project.
CONCEPT & KEY FEATURES
Language lessons (Linked with existing Duolingo site)
Historical Figures (History lessons)
Multi Choice Quiz (General knowledge)
Key locations (Capital and points of interest)
-Weather & Climate (Year round weather including photos)
-Terrain (Physical geographic features)
-Location (Pinpointed on a map)
– Send digital postcards
– Swap Frog accessories
Randomly Generated User;
Completely Random (only matching spoken languages)
Criteria Generated (gender/age/location)
Recipes (Teacher uploaded or provided via cms)
User uploaded pictures;
Quiz (Based on different cultures, more questions correct, higher their rating)
Children’s artistic/photographic responses reflected local/observed cultures
Mass creation of accounts
Track students’ progress (from the quizzes)
The brainstorm below enabled decisions regarding the more important factors of the website: parts were rejected as being unsuitable for the selected age range, some ideas were too abstruse, others too highly demanding for little reward.
Many concepts will not be realized within the limited time frame: prioritization is essential to establish what is key, but this is dependent on initial research: priorities may change when necessary and future developments are established.
HOW I’LL DO IT
New skills in different directions are needed, utilizing:
- Foundation (layout)
- Ruby on Rails (dynamics)
- Canvas (html) (complex layers)
- Database (knowledge/skills acquisition, php)
As an educational tool for young students and teachers, there is an obvious commercial application, which may be enhanced by “add-ons” such as the store, video tutorials etc.
- Mid Oct 2016: Initial proposal submitted.
- Late October 2016 Start research stage
- Mid November 2016 Complete research stage
- Mid November 2016 Start pre-production stage
- Late November 2016 Complete pre-production stage
- Late November 2016 Start production stage
- Late February 2016 Complete production stage
- Late February 2016 Extra time for further considerations
PLAN OF ACTION
Development of website