Wednesday, 12 November 2008

mLearn08: MiLK: students building mobile learning games in higher education by Debra Polson

Debra Polson is a very enthusiastic speaker.

She showed showcases of custom mobile games. Debra motivates students to develop mobile games and they love it!

All of the examples are about Fun first, then Educational. Examples mentioned: Scape (an urban sustainability education tool), Scoot and Milk (the mobile learning kit), I will focus on this last one.

MILK: explore, research, design, publish, play, reflect. (the mobile learning kit)
It is written in php scripting + database technology.

It is all about connecting students, curriculum and everyday environments using simple web and mobile technologies. In half a day they learn all about botanical gardens, creating their own activities and playing it with each other. While testing Milk at Trinity Bay State High (with more reluctant students), the students came up with activities and learned more then they bargained for. One conclusion was that peer assessment is a HIGH motivator. Students wanted to create GREAT games, because their peers would play the game and give feedback on it.

Another example:
MiLK has been used to deliver course curriculum for Master of Fine Arts, Design and Technology students from Parsons, The New School for Design. The collaboration studio course, ‘PLAYLab’ was delivered by leading game design experts Katie Salen and Melanie Crean.

The course was delivered through exploration of three related domains: Game Design, Psychogeography, and Microfictions. The students were asked to develop new gaming concepts for MiLK for play by both students and teachers, propose and develop supplementary platforms or content, and prototype, playtest, and document their research findings.

It is a scaffolding tool for narratives, which makes it really student-centered.

From Milk's website: the MiLK system is custom made for schools. MiLK is basically a set of simple web interfaces that enable individuals (teachers and students) to design and populate there very own mobile games. The milk-building interfaces are designed to work like a simple series of storyboards with areas to upload images and write SMS text. Once the game designers have submitted their final designs, the storyboard content is dynamically sent to registered users mobile phones in a sequence and style the designers have planned. All communications are then stored and displayed on the students milk-journal for later reflection. The milk-journal is a web page generated by the Milk system and password protected. Students can add comments, upload images, send it SMS and MMS messages and share it with other group members. The teachers are also able to track these activities and set some specific assessment tasks.
We have a number of Primary and Secondary schools in both Adelaide and Brisbane currently trialling the system.

Long live Australian creativity!


  1. There are a lot of mobile Games available from your phone provider at some pretty cheap prices. But as most have found, those little Java Games and tones can add up pretty fast. has a huge listing of games that are free. Hundreds of puzzle action and trivia phone games. The only catch to the whole deal is that they download Advertisements and you look at two banner ads before the game will load.
    So this is a cool option if you have an unlimited data plan. I have about 15 games on my phone that I didn't spend close to US$100.00 for. And I have checked the size, the cell phone games download includes initial advertisements so it replaces those each time it updates, so no worries of it taking up needed space.
    Also, when I was out of service area out in the mountains, it couldn't download new advertisements and just defaulted to the first ones. So if you don't have an unlimited data plan, they may still work and just show you the same ads over and over.
    Really hope to have this mobile games, by knowing each character from S1 til now S3, and now they all come into our java games and we do bring Heroes together with us all the time…yigou219 yigou2000

  2. Can any one tell me about some companies which offer mobile learning services?
    Silver MLM