1. Noel Enyedy
  2. Professor
  3. Science through Technology Enhanced Play
  4. University of California, Los Angeles
  1. Jeff Burke
  2. http://remap.ucla.edu/jburke
  3. Assistant Dean, Technology and Innovation
  4. Science through Technology Enhanced Play
  5. University of California, Los Angeles
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Jennifer Adams

    Jennifer Adams

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2016 | 12:57 p.m.

    Very cool project! I love that the students get to be bees while engaging in learning about bees. This gets at so many things, their spatial-kinesthetic awareness, cooperation/coordination, experimentation and respect/valuing non-human organisms. I also like that they make their own wings! I would like to hear more about the open p track platform and how it is able to track individual movements.

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    Randy Illum

    Guest
    May 18, 2016 | 11:55 p.m.

    Hi Jennifer,
    Thanks for all of the positive feedback! It was great seeing the students embody the bees as part of their learning experience. From our observations they really enjoyed the process of transforming into the bees as part of their scientific inquiry into how bees pollinate flowers and collect nectar.

    Regarding how OpenPTrack is able to track individual movements simultaneously, it is through a distributed computer vision network which is able to identify an individual through multiple depth sensors installed in the classroom. What this means in practice is that multiple Kinect One sensors (these are the sensors that are used for the Microsoft Xbox) are installed strategically around a room, then are networked together to allow each of the cameras to communicate with one another in real-time allowing each of the cameras to contribute to the person detection and tracking. Each person is tracked individually through first identifying them through a depth cloud that is generated by combining all of the sensors data in the network, then using machine learning that is part of the Robot Operating System (ROS: http://www.ros.org/) and the Point Cloud Library (http://pointclouds.org/) which are libraries that OpenPTrack is built upon to determine if a shape in the point cloud is a person. If the algorithms identify a shape as a person then a Unique Identification (UID) is given to that person. Then through the UID each person is able to be identified as an individual, and tracked separately. It is also noteworthy that OpenPTrack and all of the libraries and the Operating System it runs on (Ubuntu) are Open Source. More information can also be found on OpenPTrack’s Github site: https://github.com/OpenPTrack/open_ptrack and on openptrack.org

  • Icon for: Jennifer Adams

    Jennifer Adams

    Facilitator
    May 19, 2016 | 02:50 p.m.

    Thanks for the explanation. I will look into some of these just for information because I am curious about the technology. Great work!

  • Icon for: Teresa Eastburn

    Teresa Eastburn

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2016 | 03:01 p.m.

    This project makes me look forward to innovative learning in the years ahead! With a background in developmental and cognitive psychology (and a former preschool teacher decades ago), I smiled all through this video. I agree with Jennifer that you’ve touched upon so much here and have engaged the students in play but with a 21st Century twist – tracking sensors and a clever digital learning tool. You’ve synthesized the best of both worlds to open an engaging world of play and understanding about pollination and the importance of bees to ecosystems. Has all the research gone smoothly? What have been your biggest challenges? Are you working with students from underrepresented and underserved at all? How have groups of students varied? Is there a component away from the P Track technology and in nature at all? Has it made them more observant and aware of the interconnections within nature?

  • Icon for: Noel Enyedy

    Noel Enyedy

    Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 09:58 a.m.

    Teresa, so glad you liked the project. I can’t tell you how enthusiastic our whole team is about this project. You ask a number of really good questions. I’ll try to answer them in different responses.

    “Has all the research gone smoothly?”

    The instructional implementation side of the research has gone incredibly smoothly due to constant communication and open collaboration. We meet weekly with our collaborators at Indiana University to share ideas, challenges, and successes. At both research sites, we also meet regularly with our amazing collaborating teachers who helped us to anticipate or adapt to any surprises that did come up. So even when we missed several days in a row in Indiana due to snow and freezing rain, the teachers helped us adjust the curriculum to work with their new schedule. Snow was less of a problem here in Los Angeles.

    The technical side of the project has also gone smoothly mostly thanks to the efforts of Inquirium (http://www.inquirium.net/index.html), Open Ptrack (http://openptrack.org/) and UCLA remap (http://remap.ucla.edu/) who worked together on all the technical aspects. But the STEP project is a complex socio-technical system and their contributions by no means merely technical. What made this project work was a shared vision for how the technology would fit with and extend social and physical relationships.

  • Icon for: Noel Enyedy

    Noel Enyedy

    Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 09:59 a.m.

    “What have been your biggest challenges?”
    One of our biggest challenges has been technical—helping the system to keep track of who is who. What is new about our work is that we are not tracking one or two children but are tracking up to 12 students at one time in a relatively large space. Our tracking system is based on visual recognition, so occlusion (when one child walks in front of another child for a given sensor) can confuse our tracking and have the bee avatar of one child swap with that of another child. We have been making good strides towards solving this problem, but currently our work around is to limit our designs so that everyone plays the same type of character—in the video you’ll notice everyone is a bee. This way if the system gets confused and swaps one child’s bee for another bee it is not too big a problem. This limits our design, but still leaves us plenty of room to design interesting and engaging activities.

  • Icon for: Noel Enyedy

    Noel Enyedy

    Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 10:00 a.m.

    “Are you working with students from underrepresented and underserved at all?”
    We have two sites one is the UCLA Lab School and one is a public school in Indiana. The ethnic diversity at the UCLA Lab School attempts to mirror the demographics of California. I will let Joshua Danish, the co-PI on the project, chime in on the population of students at Indiana he has been working with.

    “How have groups of students varied?”
    One way the students vary at UCLA is that 2 of the 5 classrooms were dual immersion Spanish-English classrooms. We have not seen any difference on our pre-post results from these classrooms. More importantly, a core belief of our designs is that our activities are intended spark and support productive classroom discussions. We are very interested in how, if at all, these conversations differ when they occur in the context of a dual immersion classroom. And, of course, the students in Indiana are at a completely different school, in a different state. The Indiana school is also a public school, and thus faces very different constraints.

  • Icon for: Teresa Eastburn

    Teresa Eastburn

    Facilitator
    May 19, 2016 | 04:40 p.m.

    Thank you Noel. What terrific work! And thanks for letting me know about your work with dual immersion Spanish-English classrooms and schools that mirror the demographics of CA. I will followup with the websites you shared to learn more as I am very intrigued and love what you are doing! Thanks for making a difference and engaging young students so meaningfully in STEM!

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    Joshua Danish

    Guest
    May 17, 2016 | 11:41 a.m.

    Hi Teresa and everyone,

    Another challenge that we intentionally developed STEP to address is that it is difficult to have a full classroom of students participating at the exact same time due to space limitations (you can only have so many kids running around at once before it’s too crowded!). To address this we have been working with our team and teachers to find ways to include all of the students in the class even if they are not playing physically at a given moment. This has included having students observe and comment, and prepare to offer suggestions and solutions. It has also included us planning around cycles of students who build on each other’s ideas after observing. And, of course this is all supported by carefully planned teacher-led discussions after play. This kind of activity has also inspired our follow-up grant, PLAE, where we will have student observers using iPads to annotate their peers’ activity so that students both in and out of the interacting space can be engaged in productive science inquiry practices.

  • Icon for: Teresa Eastburn

    Teresa Eastburn

    Facilitator
    May 19, 2016 | 04:43 p.m.

    Thanks for being so forthcoming with your challenges; I’m a firm believer that that is where learning lies in the design process! Good luck addressing the few that have come to light. I like the solution you have proposed above. Kudos on a GREAT project.

  • Icon for: Lauren Allen

    Lauren Allen

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2016 | 01:56 p.m.

    Such a cool project! I love seeing the combination of technology and physical movement. I can imagine that this would be a great tool for informal learning environments as well as classrooms—are there any plans to work with museums or nature centers to incorporate this sort of technology demonstration into their programming or free-choice learning experiences?

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    David DeLiema

    Guest
    May 17, 2016 | 02:10 p.m.

    Hi Teresa and all,
    Thanks for these great questions. I thought I would respond to this one: “Is there a component away from the OpenPTrack technology and in nature at all?” In the current project, the students walked across campus to get from their school to the room that housed the tracking technology. After their first walk, one of our teachers enthusiastically reported that students had been reifying and expanding on their ideas about bees and flowers as they walked across campus. So, we tagged along and found the walks packed with inquiry. Students would find flowers and pretend to forage. They turned a massive bronze sculpture into a pretend beehive in which they would store nectar and communicate about good flowers. They would play chase, with some students acting as bees and other students acting as birds preying on bees. They set up mini games where they would dance for one another and check if their friends could find the target flower. There was also a lot of pretend stinging! Interestingly, for both this bee project and for an earlier project focused on solid, liquid, and gas particles, most of our students avoided a ritual at the end of each class where we would “turn them back into kids.” The students preferred to stay in their bee or particle roles as they headed out to snack or to the playground. Looking forward, there is no doubt we could involve more inquiry in nature, especially precise data collection and analysis. I think these early indicators from our first few projects are signs that moving into nature would be very motivating for the students.

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    Joshua

    Guest
    May 17, 2016 | 02:18 p.m.

    In the case of the IN implementation we saw similar discussions in the walk down the hallway. We also didn’t do a lot of work outside of the technology, but our teachers discussed seeing some real potential for that. In the next round of implementations, they have indicated that they hope to plan further integration with their other forms of activities such as creating artwork and presentations, visiting content experts, etc. We have set aside time to meet as a team (researchers and teachers) to implement this next time (as part of the PLAE project and other future projects).

  • Icon for: Teresa Eastburn

    Teresa Eastburn

    Facilitator
    May 19, 2016 | 04:46 p.m.

    Love it. Play begets more play!

  • Icon for: Roger Taylor

    Roger Taylor

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2016 | 07:25 p.m.

    Hello Noel. I was talking with Joshua about this project over dinner at AERA last month so it’s great to get to the see the video. The project brought to mind the “BeeSmart Hive Finding” NetLogo simulation (http://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/models/BeeS...). Lastly, I was wondering if you’d done any spatio-temporal analyses yet – I’d love to see what you discover!

  • Icon for: Noel Enyedy

    Noel Enyedy

    Presenter
    May 18, 2016 | 11:35 a.m.

    Hi Roger, I checked out the Hive Finding sim—very cool. We only did bee communication in the context of foraging and pollination, but I could see extending our activities to do hive relocation. We have not yet done a spatio-temporal analysis—if you have any ideas on that front we are interested. Currently we are analyzing the social space that is created by this mix of physical & intellectual work, and the combination of play and school. We have a paper coming up at ICLS that uses Goffman’s concepts of frames and keys to help understand how the students and teachers are navigating this new social landscape.

  • Icon for: Roger Taylor

    Roger Taylor

    Facilitator
    May 20, 2016 | 01:15 p.m.

    Hi Noel,

    In terms of analyses my preference is to start out with exploratory data visualizations. The spatial coding seems tricky… I’m guessing you’d need to look at both allocentric and egocentric measurements. For the temporal analyses I’ve had some success using Markov and Autoregressive models. Please feel free to email me (rogertaylor@gmail.com) if you’d like to chat some more about it.

  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    Co-Principal Investigator
    May 18, 2016 | 12:08 p.m.

    Very nice!
    Do the students spend any time watching actual bees or flowers, before, during, or after?

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    Joshua

    Guest
    May 19, 2016 | 08:28 p.m.

    Hi Brian,

    Thanks for your comments and question. One of the things our partner teachers in IN noted is that even when we didn’t explicitly introduce them to bees in advance, the students already know about bees and see them on the playground and at home every day. They believe (and I agree) that this easy familiarity is one of the reasons that bees are so compelling.

    Also, in Bloomington our wonderful Science Museum (Wonderlab) has a bee exhibit where you can actually watch the bees dance inside the hive as real bees return from their trips to pollinate the grounds outside the museum. Many of our students have seen this in the past, and a targeted trip to visit this exhibit is something we’ve discussed for future iterations.

  • Icon for: Noel Enyedy

    Noel Enyedy

    Presenter
    May 18, 2016 | 12:28 p.m.

    Hi Brian, yes. The students examined bee anatomy when they made their wings. They also dissected real flowers and tasted the nectar themselves in response to the debates over if bees really wanted pollen or nectar. After the unit has ended and we left to start writing papers the kids have not stopped. In one class they have contacted a bee scientist at UCSD and skyped with him. In another classroom they are busy planning and planting a pollination garden to help the bees. In another class they are making public service announcements to get the public to care about what bees do for us. And like David said above, during the unit, they refused to stop learning when the lesson was over! They stayed bees and played pollination games and waggle dance at lunch and recess. To us the enthusiasm outside of the space was one of our biggest indicators of success.

  • Icon for: Leslie Herrenkohl

    Leslie Herrenkohl

    Professor, Co_Director 3dL Partnership
    May 20, 2016 | 11:45 a.m.

    Noel and Joshua this is such interesting work! What do you see as the most compelling differences between learning about bees in this environment and using a more traditional classroom based approach? The wings alone are so interesting – not one set that I saw looked the same!

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    Joshua Danish

    Guest
    May 20, 2016 | 12:46 p.m.

    Thanks Leslie! Great question. My feeling as we dive into the data is that the embodied play experience helps the students to explore aspects of the system and it’s interactions in ways that make the system-level properties far more visible to them. They also see how these system-level properties are important in ways that I think are not clear to them in “traditional” classroom activities. For example, when we’ve told students in the past that bees don’t collect nectar on purpose, many memorize that fact, but I’m not sure they appreciated it. However, when in STEP we have them collect nectar to get food for their hive, they settle into that role and really attend to nectar collection, forgetting about pollination. When we then turn on the pollination “layer” of the interface, they see how they didn’t actually need to try and pollinate because the flowers that drew the most bees were pollinated quite successfully. I think they begin to truly appreciate at that moment how these systems can interact productively without any need for centralized control.

    The other big difference is that we are really focused on systems level thinking whereas few classrooms explore content in such a manner. Instead, the bulk of classrooms that we have seen exploring bees are focused on features such as their body parts. In some of my earlier work, I focused more on those distinctions (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1050...). In the STEP work, I think we really take this to the next level by using the students’ interactions with each other and the software to appreciate all of these complex dynamics by acting in fun and natural ways.

  • Icon for: Leslie Herrenkohl

    Leslie Herrenkohl

    Professor, Co_Director 3dL Partnership
    May 20, 2016 | 01:24 p.m.

    Thanks for the detailed reply Joshua. The ability to use this model of play and embodied cognition to support systems level thinking is really promising. I’m looking forward to hearing and reading more from this exciting project!

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    Joshua Danish

    Guest
    May 20, 2016 | 02:16 p.m.

    Thanks! If you like, you can also see our first publications on the STEP platform in the context of children playing at being particles as they explore the states of matter. The citation is:

    Danish, J. A., Enyedy, N., Saleh, A., Lee, C., & Andrade, A. (2015). Science Through Technology Enhanced Play: Designing to Support Reflection Through Play and Embodiment. In O. Lindwall, Häkkinen, P., Koschman, T. Tchounikine, P. & Ludvigsen, S. (Ed.), Exploring the Material Conditions of Learning: The Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) Conference (Vol. 1). Gothenburg, Sweden: The International Society of the Learning Sciences.

    Or if you email me I can send you a copy!

    Joshua

  • Icon for: Roger Taylor

    Roger Taylor

    Facilitator
    May 20, 2016 | 02:39 p.m.

    Could you email me a copy (rogertaylor@gmail.com)? :-)

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    Joshua

    Guest
    May 20, 2016 | 02:42 p.m.

    Sent!

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    Sylvia Gentile

    Guest
    May 20, 2016 | 08:37 p.m.

    Wow! This project is so mind-blowing, especially considering where we started, back in Early Childhood with dramatic play, simple costumes and no technology, except a still camera! Kudos to you, Joshua, Noel and the whole research team for documenting the power of play in learning. My question is this: is there a possibility of crafting an investigation like this for older children at our school’s Upper Level (5th and 6th grade)? If so, count me in!

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    Joshua Danish

    Guest
    May 23, 2016 | 10:14 a.m.

    Thanks Sylvia! I am sure we can come up with lots of ways that your kids could work with our system. We’d certainly love to work with you again too!!

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    Sylvia Gentile

    Guest
    May 23, 2016 | 02:27 p.m.

    Thanks so much, Josh! The Upper kids would certainly benefit from this play-infused approach to science. Let the games begin! And we can chat over the summer about next steps.

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.